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DataOct 13, 2009

Reporting Services Options

Credera Team

Having implemented Reporting Services solutions on a number of projects, I think it’s important to note the different ways to deal with implementing reports.

First off, you can go with the model using a Report Server, SSRS 2005 or 2008. Either way, in this case, you are are leveraging Business Intelligence Development Studio, or VS add-ins, to build, test, and deploy your RDL or RDLC files to the Report Server. This is definitely the approach to take hands down if you are integrating Microsoft’s Reporting Services with Sharepoint. This is also an all round good choice if you are dealing with a large volume of reports, reports used by multiple sites/systems, or to simply abstract the report files out of your application. Noteably, another advantage to using a Report Server is the ability to store these reports in the DB, instead of on the file system. Further, in this case you are letting the server do the work for you.

Though leveraging server reports is a great model, overlooked sometimes is the ability to simply develop and run local reports on the client side. With the proper VS Reporting Services add-in, you can develop local rdlc report files and render them on the client side. These reports are stored on the file system, and can be a great solution for getting a reporting solution up and running quickly with out a Report Server. This is also a good model for smaller reporting solutions, as well as a way to take some of the work off of the server. This isn’t the best approach; however, for scalability. All your reports are stored on the file system and if the amount of data you are playing with grows too far then you will eventually take some performance hits.

Either way, it’s good to know your options so you can select the right solution for your needs.