SQL Server Reporting Services
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a server-based report generation software system from Microsoft.
Administered via a web interface, it can be used to prepare and deliver a variety of interactive and printed reports.
Reporting Services was first released in 2004 as an add-on to SQL Server 2000. The second version was released as a part of SQL Server 2005 in November 2005. A third version was released as part of SQL Server 2008 R2 in April 2010. The latest version was released as part of SQL Server 2012 in March 2012.
- Microsoft SQL Server Developer, Standard, and Enterprise editions all include SSRS as an install option.
- The free SQL Server Express includes a limited version.
Reports are defined in Report Definition Language (RDL), an XML markup language. Reports can be designed using recent versions of Microsoft Visual Studio, with the included Business Intelligence Projects plug-in installed or with the included Report Builder, a simplified tool that does not offer all the functionality of Visual Studio. Reports defined by RDL can be generated in a variety of formats including Excel, PDF, CSV, XML, TIFF (and other image formats), and HTML Web Archive. SQL Server 2008 SSRS can also prepare reports in Microsoft Word (DOC) format.
Third-party report generators offer additional output formats
Users can interact with the Report Server web service directly, or instead use Report Manager, a web-based application that interfaces with the Report Server web service. With Report Manager, users can view, subscribe to, and manage reports as well as manage and maintain data sources and security settings. Reports can be delivered via e-mail or placed on a file system. Security is role-based and can be assigned on an individual item, such as a report or data source, a folder of items, or site wide. Security roles and rights are inherited and can be overloaded.
In addition to using the standalone Report Server that comes with SQL Server, RDL reports can also be viewed using the ASP.NET ReportViewer web control or the ReportViewer Windows Forms control. This allows reports to be embedded directly into web pages or .NET Windows applications. The ReportViewer control processes reports in one of two ways: (a) server processing, where the report is rendered by and obtained from the Report Server; and (b) local processing, where the control renders the RDL file itself.
SQL Server Reporting Services also support ad hoc reports: the designer develops a report schema and deploys it on the reporting server, where the user can choose relevant fields/data and generate reports. Users can then download the reports locally.
With SQL Server 2012 SPI, you can now view and interact with reports on Microsoft Surface devices, and devices with Apple iOS 6 and Apple Safari browser such as the iPad. You can also view reports on a Windows Phone 8 device, and publish reports using the Microsoft Surface devices. For more information, see 
You can now also publish reports in Windows Azure. 
See also 
- MSDN Library: Reporting Services in SQL Server Express with Advanced Services
- MSDN Library: Reporting Services Render Method - See Device Information Settings
- Image Device Information Settings - SSRS can render BMP, EMF, GIF, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF.
- MSDN Library: View Reporting Services Reports on Microsoft Surface Devices and Apple iOS Devices
- Windows Azure Documentation: Learn SQL Reporting on Windows Azure (Tutorial)
- Microsoft SQL Server: Reporting Services home page
- Microsoft SQL Server: Reporting Services resources page
- DNR TV: Reporting Services Part A
- DNR TV: Reporting Services Part B
- DNR TV: Reporting Services Part C
- SSRS with Visual Basic and Visual C#
- SSRS in your ASP.Net application
- PHP SSRS SDK
- Creating a Java proxy for SSRS
- Custom SSRS solution I white paper by MindHARBOR
- Learn SQL Server Reporting Services 2008, ISBN 978-1-847196187, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, 2008