Overview of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)


SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a part of Microsoft SQL Server Service suite. It is used to produce formatted reports with tables in form of images, data, charts and graphs. These reports are hosted on cloud which enables user to utilize them at any point of time. It also offers security and sharing features. With the help of SSRS user can manage relational and multidimensional data expeditiously without involving an IT individual. For example, a beverage company conducts a survey involving thousands of people. The company creates database of each individual associated with the survey. Producing reports based on such huge data is quite tedious and time consuming. In such situation, if the company used SSRS tool to record the database, then they’ll be able to generate survey reports swiftly in desired format.


How SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) works?

The user sends a request to the SSRS server to get an insight of the data in form of report. Then SSRS server discovers the metadata of the report and forwards a request for data to the data sources. Now, the data returned by the data source is unified with the report definition and presented in form of a report to the client.


Architecture of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

SSRS has a complex architecture, which comprises of development, administrative and reporting tools. Following are the key components of SSRS:

  • Report Builder: It is a simple tool with an easy to use drag and drop interface that is effectuated on a client’s computer.
  • Report Designer: It is a publishing tool hosted in either Visual studio or BIDS. It assists user in designing and developing reports in various styles.
  • Report Server: It is the server which directs the SQL Server database engine to keep the metadata.
  • Report Manager: It makes sure that the end report matches with the defined requirements, so that decision making would be easy.
  • Report Server Database: It stores and maintain metadata, security backgrounds, delivery data, resources, report descriptions etc.
  • Data Sources: Different data sources such as relational and multidimensional are used to fetch data for creating various reports.

Types of SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS) reports

There are various variety of reports that can be created using SSRS, which are listed below:

  • Drill Down Reports: These are stepwise reports displayed in form of tables, charts or graphs. It helps in hiding complexities and showcasing user desired information.
  • Sub Reports: It is a report inside a primary report, which can also act as an individual entity.
  • Snapshot Reports: It comprises layout information and query outcomes that can be fetched at a particular time.
  • Linked Reports: This type of report is derivative of an existing report. It retains the definition of the original report.
  • Cached Report: These are copy reports of the administered report which lessens time and processing consumption.
  • Parameterized Report: These are based on predefined set of parameters.


SQL Server Reporting Services is source to visualize huge business information in desired format at any point of time. It is secure, accessible, and swift way to create and utilize database, which helps in better information analysis and decision making.

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