This is the sixth and last article of a series to review the following five BI vehicles in SharePoint 2010:
Business reports back in mainframe and early PC days used to be tedious to generate, ill to read, and painful to share. The administration and skills needed to organize, develop, and distribute data and reports are not trivial. I can still remember my consultant days working on JCLs and COBOL for customizing business reports in various mainframe shops. Today with some key integrations and tools, it is much easier to generate reports using web services and report generator.
In SharePoint 2010, a report server can be configured as part of a SharePoint deployment. The integration is provided through SQL Server and the Reporting Services Add-in for SharePoint Products. This integration provides benefits in storage, security, and document access. Once configured, opening a report in SharePoint will behind the scene establish a session with the associated Report Server which retrieves and processes the data followed by displaying the results in Report Viewer Web Part in SharePoint. Essentially the reporting services can now be consumed directly from SharePoint document libraries with SharePoint content management and security models. The following depicts the architecture and the steps to enable this integration:
In addition, SQL Reporting Services is also integrated with Report Builder 3.0 which is a feature-rich report authoring tools for end users. Sparklines and data bars, maps, and indicators are some of the new features to enhance data visualization of KPIs in a report. For those who would like to learn more, there is much information readily available for mastering Report Builder 3.0.
(A cross-posting from Microsoft SharePoint Experts Blog)