SQL Server comes with several tools named services. The SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is one such tool that lets you compose reports exactly the way you need them. The suite of services provided by Microsoft also includes an Analysis services module and integration services module. Creation and management of a wide variety of these reports is made possible through this server based reporting service or the SSRS. The types of reports that can be created include the basic one that contain data tables and associated charts. Complex data visualizations are made possible by the SQL server reporting services. The complex reports may contain charts, maps and sparklines. Sparklines make more sophisticated visualizations possible and they help add additional illustrative small charts to data in a chart already. This reporting service tool can handle these easily. All these reports can be generated in different formats. The data used for the reports could not only e SQL Server data but can also come from other RDMSs. SQL server analysis services can be a source as could be Parallel data warehouse or even Teradata. The reporting service can handle XML based data sources too.

The reports generated by the SQL server reporting services can be included in the applications you develop. These could as easily be viewed on the report manager or the report services website. The required reports in reporting services can be generated as required basis. These could be scheduled as subscriptions too. This component of SSRS can be arranged to install on SharePoint.

Originally SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) used to be shipped as an adjunct to the main SQL Server product. It was first released more than 10 years ago in 2003. From the SQL Server release 2005, the services have been completely integrated. The SSRS was enhanced significantly in the 2008 and 2008 R2 versions. These new set of features enhancements include enhanced charts, data regions, a new gage feature, formatting of text an introduction of a Tablix feature. This lets a report area to be converted to matrix and the other way round. A complete overhaul of the report designer was done at this release. This redesign introduced a grouping pane in the interface. Basic features of this reporting services have not changed since this 2008 R2 release.

A Power View feature was added, however, with the SQL server reporting services release 2012. Power View provides a new way of creating reports that business users need. A SSRSĀ installation needs to be associated with a database instance, of course. A ReportServer and a ReportServerTempdb exist in such an instance. ReportServer holds quite a few details about reports created. These include definitions of the report, its configuration, security and history, etc. On the other hand ReportServerTempdb provides a workspace for building of reports. A Report Server Web Service will need to be hosted. End users can publish their own reports when they have permissions. The sequence of events in publishing a report starts with a http request to the web server. The reporting services server retrieves metadata related to the report and requests data from the data source and returns a complete report when data is available to it.