Rules to Better Reporting Services - 8 Rules
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By default SSRS will track reporting execution for the last 60 days. This might be OK in most cases, but you may want to adjust the retention days if you want better report usage statistics.
To update the value you can:
- Connect to the ReportServer database in SQL Management Studio
- Execute the following script and update the value to the number of days you want to track
EXEC SetConfigurationInfo @Name=N'ExecutionLogDaysKept',@Value=N'365'
After you have this, you can query the ExecutionLog table to find useful information about report execution like:
- Which users are actively using the reports
- How long reports are executing
- The last time a report was executed
SSRS keeps track of each report that gets executed and records useful information like:
- How long did the report take to generate
- Who requested the report
- When was the report generated
- Report Parameters used
So it's quite simply a matter of querying the ReportServer database for information in the ExecutionLog table.
WITH RankedReports AS (SELECT ReportID, TimeStart, UserName, RANK() OVER (PARTITION BY ReportID ORDER BY TimeStart DESC) AS iRank FROM dbo.ExecutionLog t1 JOIN dbo.Catalog t2 ON t1.ReportID = t2.ItemID ) SELECT t2.Name AS ReportName, MAX(t1.TimeStart) LastAccessed, --t1.UserName, t2.Path, SUBSTRING(t2.Path, 0, CHARINDEX('/', t2.Path, 2)) ParentFolder, t1.ReportID FROM RankedReports t1 JOIN dbo.Catalog t2 ON t1.ReportID = t2.ItemID WHERE t1.iRank = 1 GROUP BY t2.Name, Path, ReportID ORDER BY MAX(t1.TimeStart) DESC;
The query above gives you the last reports that were accessed (Credit to Eric Phan - SSRS - Find out which reports are being used (handy for migrating only the useful reports to a new server))
The five user experiences of Reporting Services are:
- Vanilla (Report Manager)
Like any solution, Reporting Services has its pros and cons. From our experience, we have discovered these things about Reporting Services:
- Parameters - you are forced to use built-in controls
- Query string - when you change the parameters and refresh a report, the values do not appear directly in the query string, making it hard to copy/paste URLs
- Can't separate SQL into a strongly-typed dataset or middle-tier object like in ASP.NET
- There are potential difficulties with the deployment of RS reports and the exposing of them. However, once we have the infrastructure...
- You can develop read only reports faster in Reporting Services than ASP.NET
- Maintenance with RS is easier than ASP .NET, as with most cases you don't have to write any code
- Flexibility with groupings and totals is easier. In ASP.NET you would need to iterate through the DataSet, keeping variables with the totals
- Parameters are built-in. In ASP.NET there is code
- Drilldown interactivity. In ASP.NET you need to code up a treeview
- Users can have reports automatically emailed to them on a schedule
- Users can export natively to PDF and XLS, plus a variety of other popular formats
So in conclusion, if you will only ever need 1 report, go with ASP.NET - it is easier to get up and running. If you plan to have more than one report, use Reporting Services - it's worth the time to configure.
For a more detailed comparison between reporting solutions, take a look at our Guidelines for Report Solutions - Web Clients.
Figure: How to migrate SSRS reports from an old server to another
Let's say you want to migrate SSRS reports from an old reporting service server (e.g. SQL Server 2008 R2) to a new one (e.g. SQL Server 2016). What involves?
There are 3 steps:
- Find those reports are not-in-use, as per a rule: Do you know which reports are being used?
Find creators of those reports, by clicking “Detail Views” in reports folder
Send an email to report creater ask for permission to delete
Tip: Use the ReportSync tool to save time.
- Run SSW SQL Reporting Service Auditor on both sides
- Compare audit results. Note that even error and warning messages also need to be the same
If audit results are exactly the same on old and new servers, it indicates that migration is successful.
When working with SSRS reports, you need to have the right type of project otherwise it will be difficult for a developer, to create new reports or update existing ones.
If you have some reports and want to check them into source control, if you add them to project that is not a report project, your reports will not open in the design/preview view (allowing to see the DataSource and DataSets). They will open in the XML view (which is not pretty to work with).
To open the reports in the right view you will need to:
- Be sure that you VS has the tool/extensions Microsoft Reporting Services Projects installed, go to Tools | Extensions and Updates | Online, and search for services
- In SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) for Visual Studio website you will find all the instructions to install the tool via Marketplace or SSDT standalone installer.
- Create the project selecting Business Intelligence | Reporting Services | Report Server Project
- Add existing reports and create your new DataSource (based in the information on your Report Portal)
The default configuration for Report Server isn't accessible by most mobile browsers and some desktop browsers too. You can adjust the authentication types allowed to increase the range.
The configuration file for the Report Server is named RSReportServer.config and the default location is:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSRS13.MSSQLSERVER\Reporting Services\ReportServer\
You should make a backup of the configuration before editing it so you can rollback if you make a mistake.
We normally change the AuthenticationTypes node from:
<AuthenticationTypes> <RSWindowsNegotiate /> </AuthenticationTypes>
<AuthenticationTypes> <RSWindowsNegotiate /> <RSWindowsKerberos /> <RSWindowsNTLM /> </AuthenticationTypes>
Check out the different Authentication Types in the Report Server documentation and select the types that suit your needs.
More details on configuring Windows authentication on the report server can be found here: Configure Windows Authentication on the Report Server.
Here are the steps to subscribe a report:
- Open IE, go to the folder view which contains the report you're going to subscribe.
- Click the report you're going to subscribe and select "Subscribe...".
- Configuring the subscriber's email address, report render type and schedule.