Following are some basic question regarding SSRS which for understanding aspects of SSRS Development and more into interview
1. What can SQL Server Reporting Services Do?
- You can create interactive, tabular, graphical, or free-form reports from relational, multidimensional, or XML-based data sources.
- You can publish reports, schedule report processing, or access reports on-demand.
- You can create ad hoc reports based on predefined models and interactively explore data within the model.
- You can select from a variety of viewing formats, export reports to other applications, and subscribe to published reports.
- You can view the reports created over a Web-based connection or as part of Windows application.
2. Explain the architecture of reporting services.
-Reporting Services runs as a middle-tier server as part of the existing server architecture.
SQL Server should be installed for the database server, and Internet Information Services 6.0 as a Web server. (for SSRS 2005 only)
-The report server engine takes in report definitions, locates the corresponding data, and produces the reports. -Interaction with the engine can be done through the Web-based Report Manager, which also lets you manage refresh schedules and notifications. -End users view the report in a Web browser, and can export it to PDF, XML, or Excel.
3. State a major difference between SSRS 2005 and SSRS 2008 in terms of web server components required.
IIS is no longer required by SSRS 2008 as a prerequisite. SSRS 2005 used IIS services in order to host its
4. Describe Reporting Lifecycle.
The phases of the Reporting Life Cycle involve:
- Creating Reports
- Managing Reports
- Delivering Reports
5. What is Report authoring
This stage involves creation of reports which are then published using the Report Definition language. RDL is an XML based industry standard for defining reports.
6. What functionalities does Report management comprise?
This involves managing the published reports as a part of the Web Service. The reports are cached for consistency and performance. They can be executed whenever demanded or can be scheduled and executed.
In short Report Management includes:
- Organizing reports and data sources,
- Scheduling report execution and delivery, and
- Tracking reporting history.
7. What is Report delivery?
Reports can be delivered to the consumers either on their demand or based on an event. Then they can view them is a web-based format.
8. What are the ways to tune Reporting Services?
Following are a few ways you can tune up Reporting Services:
You can expand your current Server or avail the reporting service database on another server. Depending on report characteristics and application logic, it is sometimes better to have a copy of data separate to improve the performance.
You can also use continuous replication for reporting. With this there wouldn’t be any interference with the OLTP environment.
The locking problems can be solved by using ‘nolock’ and the query performance can be improved using ‘dirty read’ when a copy of the data is not available. This can be accomplished only if the database design and application logic permit dirty reads.
9. What are the different modes available when configuring the Report server.
SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services can operate in either Native Mode or SharePoint Integration Mode. As Reporting Services supports multiple instances, you also have the option of using both modes simultaneously on a single server. This section outlines some considerations you should think about to help determine which mode to use in your organization.
1) Native Mode
The term Native Mode in Reporting Services 2005 Service Pack 2 refers to the existing way that Reporting Services operates. The report server is responsible for management of all Reporting Services functionality, including report storage, rendering, scheduling, subscriptions, security, and administration. Reports, data sources, and report models are all stored in the report server database.
Native Mode is appropriate for any organization that does not implement Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Office SharePoint Server 2007, or does not need the added functionality of Integration Mode (see next section). If your organization uses Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 or SharePoint Portal Server 2003, you will not be able to leverage the additional productivity and security features of Integration Mode until you upgrade to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or SharePoint Portal Server 2007.
2) SharePoint Integration Mode
Using Reporting Services 2005 in SharePoint Integration Mode enables some significant benefits to the end-user and the organization as a whole, as follows:
- Uses SharePoint document libraries to store reports, data sources, and report models.
- Enables publishing, viewing, management, and delivery of Reporting Services reports from the same user interface used for managing Office documents.
- Enables organizations to construct BI dashboards with rich reports.
- Leverages workflow and collaboration capabilities that are already available in Office SharePoint Server 2007.
When using SharePoint Integration Mode, some features that are available in Native Mode are replaced with comparable functionality in Office SharePoint Server 2007 or are no longer available. The Reporting Services features that are not available in Integration Mode are:
- Report Manager
- Management Studio
- My Reports
- Linked Reports
- Job Management
Note: There is no support for migrating native mode reports to SharePoint integration mode. You can use those reports, but you must manually republish them to the Office SharePoint Server 2007.
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