Part IV Maintaining Your Reports

In this part . . . You can manage your reports in so many ways after you create and save them. Microsoft Reporting Services 2005 provides a nice tool called the Report Manager, which enables you to manage reports by using folders. In addition, you can schedule an automated run reports by using the built-in scheduler. You can even broadcast reports to a group of people by e-mail or refresh a set of reports provided on a Web site that you have access to. You say you want information secured? Of course you do, and you have many options to provide secure access. You want information quickly? Is that possible if you re reporting from a very large database? In this part, I give you some pointers for optimizing the report processing performance.

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You can configure a report server to limit

You can configure a report server to limit e-mail distribution to specific host domains. For example, you can prevent a report server from delivering a report to all domains except those listed in the configuration file. You can also set configuration settings to hide the To field in a subscription. In this case, reports are delivered only to the user defining the subscription. However, after a report is sent to a user, you cannot explicitly prevent it from being forwarded. Chapter 11: Delivering Your Reports 223

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Bursting reports Bursting a report refers to creating

Execution mode modifications and subscription processing If you change the execution properties of a report for which there is a subscription, the report server deactivates the subscription to indicate that the parameters in your subscription will no longer be used. For example, if you modify execution properties to change a report snapshot so that it runs as an on-demand report, your subscription will be deactivated. To activate the subscription, open and then save the subscription. When you open the subscription, the report server updates the subscription parameter values to those specified for the snapshot. Managing subscriptions with My Subscriptions Report Manager includes a My Subscriptions page that organizes all of your subscriptions into one place. You can use My Subscriptions to view, modify, and delete existing subscriptions. However, you cannot use it to create subscriptions. My Subscriptions is a link on the menu at the top right of each Report Manager page. Within My Subscriptions, you can sort subscriptions by folder, report, description, trigger, last run, or status. All values are sorted alphabetically except for Last Run, which is in chronological order. My Subscriptions shows only the subscriptions that you create. It does not list subscriptions that are owned by other users, even if you are added as a subscriber to those subscriptions. Data-driven subscriptions that a report administrator defines for you are also not represented here. To manage subscriptions on a server-wide basis, you must be a member of the Content Manager role or be assigned to a role that supports the Manage All Subscriptions task. Configuring Subscription Processing The e-mail message used to deliver the report must be sent from an e-mail account that is defined on the e-mail server. The e-mail account is used for all reports delivered by the e-mail delivery extension; you cannot specify multiple accounts or vary the account for individual reports. A configuration setting specifies the e-mail account. 222 Part III: Publishing, Accessing, and Subscribing to Reports

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Bursting reports Bursting a report refers to creating

Bursting reports Bursting a report refers to creating a parameter-based report that serves a variety of users, each requiring a different view of the information that the parameter helps provide. The data-driven subscription is the best subscription to use for this, as you can send different views of the same report to a large group of users. A common way to provide the information to the user is to e-mail it on a scheduled basis. Maintaining Your Subscriptions Administrators of good reporting environments need to attend to the care and feeding of the subscriptions that are being utilized. In the following sections, I highlight some situations where subscription specifications need to be reviewed and maintained. Working with inactive subscriptions If a subscription becomes inactive, you should either delete it or reactivate it by resolving the underlying conditions that prevent it from being processed. An inactive subscription is indicated by a message in the subscription itself. The message includes information about the cause and what steps you should take to reactivate the subscription. Subscriptions can become inactive if conditions occur that prevent processing. These conditions include Removing or uninstalling the delivery extension specified in the subscription. Changing credential settings from stored to integrated or prompted values. Changing a parameter name or data type in the report definition and then republishing a report. If a subscription includes a parameter that is no longer valid, the subscription becomes inactive. Changing the execution mode of a report (for example, modifying an ondemand report so that it runs as a report execution snapshot). When conditions cause the subscription to become inactive, the subscription reflects this fact when the report server runs the subscription. If a subscription is scheduled to deliver a report every Friday at midnight, and the delivery extension it uses was uninstalled on Monday at 9 a.m., the subscription will not reflect its inactive state until Friday at midnight. Chapter 11: Delivering Your Reports 221

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2. Define Delivery Settings. Configure the properties required

Using Subscription for Common Business Scenarios You can use subscriptions to automate the delivery of information to your business users. In the following sections, I provide some ideas on how to utilize subscriptions to make the reporting experience better for your business users. Preloading a snapshot report If you have multiple instances of a report (which many people want to access) with parameters for filtering your dataset you can preload reports in the cache to reduce processing time used to display the report. You can do this as a standard subscription with a null file delivery extension on a snapshot report. This will increase the overall performance for the system and make business consumers of this information happier. You can even use a regular schedule that runs with the update frequency you require of the information, reloading the cache so that the business team sees the latest information available with the fastest performance possible. Providing access to latest reports in a file directory If your users prefer to access a directory or if your portal repository requires a single directory to access the latest report information, you can create subscriptions that deposit reports as files in specified directories for this. You can do this in a standard subscription using the fileshare delivery method. You can render the reports in the format that best meets your business requirements. Broadcasting exception reports You can define reports as exception reports and use any type of subscription to e-mail the exceptions to key users on a regular basis. You can build a report to filter out everything but exceptions that need to be addressed and process the subscription to e-mail these exception reports to key business users as frequently as the business process being monitored requires. This is a common strategy to create alerts to business situations that require immediate attention. 220 Part III: Publishing, Accessing, and Subscribing to Reports

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2. Define Delivery Settings. Configure the properties required

2. Define Delivery Settings. Configure the properties required by the fileshare data-driven specification, similar to what appears in Figure 11-11. All the values you need to provide come from the database and should be available from the dropdown list box for each field you need to specify. Then click Next. 3. Specify parameter values. Select from the drop-down list of values or select the default value option for each parameter you would like to use for the data-driven subscription. This is similar to what was shown in Figure 11-12. Then click Next. 4. Define the schedule. Select from the options provided how you would like to create the subscription. You can select when the report is updated on the server or on a scheduled basis. These options are similar to what is shown in Figure 11-13. 5. Click Finish. Figure 11-15: Defining the query to return the required fields to complete the specification for the null delivery data-driven subscription. Chapter 11: Delivering Your Reports 219

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E-mail delivery of data-driven subscriptions Beginning with Step

4. Define the schedule and select how you want to create the subscription. You can select when the report is updated on the server or on a scheduled basis. These options are similar to what is shown in Figure 11-13. Click the Finish button. Null delivery of data-driven subscriptions Beginning with Step 5 of the data-driven subscription process, I review the steps to deliver reports to the report server database. This option creates report snapshots. Choose this option when you want to preload the Report Server with parameterized report snapshots on a specific schedule. Follow these steps: 1. Define the query for the null delivery method. You should enter a query that will return all the key fields required for the remaining specification of the subscription. If you use the definitions outlined in an earlier section, you can enter the following query: SELECT * FROM SubscriptionEMailReport WHERE ReportID = 10. This is shown in Figure 11-15. Then click Next. Figure 11-14: Defining the query to return the required fields to complete the specification for the e-mail delivery data-driven subscription. 218 Part III: Publishing, Accessing, and Subscribing to Reports

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E-mail delivery of data-driven subscriptions Beginning with Step

E-mail delivery of data-driven subscriptions Beginning with Step 5 of the data-driven subscription process, I review the steps to complete an e-mail delivery of a subscription. 1. Define the query for the e-mail delivery method. You should enter a query that will return all the key fields required for the remaining specification of the subscription. If you use the definitions outlined in an earlier section, you can enter the query SELECT * FROM SubscriptionEMailReport WHERE ReportID = 10. This is shown in Figure 11-14. Then click Next. 2. Define delivery settings. Configure the properties required by the fileshare data-driven specification. All the values you need to provide come from the database and should be available from the drop-down list box for each field you need to specify. Then click Next. 3. Specify parameter values. Select from the drop-down list of values or select the default value option for each parameter you would like to use for the data-driven subscription. This is similar to what was shown in Figure 11-12. Then click Next. Figure 11-13: Define the schedule to complete the specification for the fileshare delivery data-driven subscription. Chapter 11: Delivering Your Reports 217

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