Friday, March 28, 2008

SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Enhancements: Report Designer, Visualizations, and Tablix

Dundas Charts & Gauges, Tablix region controls, connections to SSAS, SAP & Essbase, Oracle, and best of all, No Report Model Required (unless you want one!).

The only thing it doesn't do is connect to the Business Objects Universe.

I think Reporting Services Report Designer in SQL 2008 is the killer app in SQL 2008 that many clients will like.  But what's it doing with my autoexec.bat file?


One of most important enhancements coming up in SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services is the new tablix region. In fact, I dare to predict that many folks will upgrade to SSRS 2008 just to get Tablix. What's tablix anyway?

Tablix = Table + Matrix

The new enhancements have been designed to allow non-developers to create detailed and professional reports from within the available SQL data easily. The Report Designer is now a standalone application within SQL Server 2008. As the lab explains, the Report Designer can now be run separately from the Business Intelligence Development Studio. The new application can be used to create purchase orders, invoices, contracts, etc.

SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Enhancements: Report Designer, Visualizations, and Tablix - IT Pro Tips


The need for a stand-alone Report Designer is real. True, developers, including myself, enjoyed the VS.NET Report Designer. But novice users were overwhelmed with the complexity of the VS.NET IDE environment. In addition, not all IT shops rejoiced over the idea to install VS.NET or BIDS just to author reports. Enters the SSRS 2008 stand-alone report designer.

In addition to the features above, you can also now export to Word (I think this is licensed from Softartisans Officewriter). 

Some suggestions for features that may be useful that I didn't see yet:

  • Simplify data connections to Access, Excel, why not just add all the connections on
  • Powerpoint export, maybe even Visio Export?  Xaml export?
  • Send to Onenote
  • Integration with Infopath
  • Tabs for Word & Excel preview inside designer.
  • Export to docx & xlsx format
  • Export to database

This is the lightweight, ad-hoc reporting tool many clients have been waiting for from Microsoft. 

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