Creating a Report Data Source

When you create reports in Reporting Services, you first specify one or more data source definitions. A data source definition provides details about how to connect to an underlying data source. It specifies the data source type, a connection string, and credentials. Each type of data source requires different connection information.

Reporting Services provides data processing extensions to support relational databases, multidimensional databases, report models, and XML-based data. In addition, you can register and report from standard .NET Framework data providers. Standard .NET Framework data providers do not necessarily support all the features provided by Reporting Services data processing extensions. Data retrieved from a report data source is primarily in the form of a tabular rowset. Other retrieved information depends on the type of data source. You can create custom data processing extensions for other data source types. For more information, see Implementing a Data Processing Extension.

Data sources can be embedded in a report or defined so that they are shared among multiple reports. A single report can contain any number of data sources, both embedded and shared. When you define a shared data source using Report Designer, the data source definition is saved as an item in the report project and can be managed independently from other project items. Similarly, when you publish a report to a report server, each report data source can be managed independently from the report. For more information, see Setting Properties on a Published Report.

Published data sources can be secured through role-based security. You set security on a shared data source item to control access to the data source item in the report server. For more information, see Securing Shared Data Source Items.

Once the data source is published, you may need to adjust credential or connection information for data sources used to test your report when the report is published. For more information, see Managing Report Data Sources.

After you have defined the data sources for your report, you define datasets that contain the specific fields you will use in your report. For information about datasets, see Creating a Report Dataset.

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