Chapter 24 Ten Third Party Tools to Use

Chapter 24 Ten Third Party Tools to Use with Reporting Services In This Chapter Attunity for real-time access to corporate data Cizer for ad hoc reports Dundas for charts and customization Fenestrae for messaging to mobile units GFI for fax server capabilities Outlooksoft for prepackaged BPM reporting Panorama for a better front-end for analytical reporting ProClarity for improved reporting and analysis Proposion for connecting to Lotus/Domino reports OfficeWriter for publishing and delivery of reports through Excel and Word Microsoft provides an open environment for other software vendors to develop add-ons and extensions to Microsoft Reporting Services. This kind of grass-roots support channel with its software vendor partners gives you more alternatives for how best to leverage Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. Consider these ten third-party tools that work well with Reporting Services for special needs you have in your business. Attunity www.attunity.com Attunity provides turnkey adapters for accessing mainframe, enterprise data sources, and legacy applications. Attunity s Adapter Suite is designed for seamless, federated, and bidirectional integration, and includes adapters

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Reporting Services Newsgroup If you have a question

scenario. Understanding what MDX is all about can be understood by viewing a very good primer on MDX at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/ en-us/olapdmad/agmdxbasics_4erb.asp A nice set of links to topics related to MDX, ADO-MD, and XMLA is available at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/SQL/sqlmultidata/default.aspx SQL Server Magazine This magazine is a popular one among enthusiasts of the various components of SQL Server. On the magazine Web site, you ll find links for educational or instructional opportunities so that you can find out more or test your current knowledge. You can also find information about organizations that focus on SQL Server (like PASS Professional Association of SQL Server) where you can collaborate with others who are working with the tool. The magazine site is at: www.windowsitpro.com/SQLServer/ SQL Server Development Center MSDN provides an SQL Server Development Center for Reporting Services. This site is intended to provide more information and insight for how Reporting Services can help with your reporting needs. You can find this at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/SQL/sqlwarehouse/Reporting Services/default.aspx General BI Links If you re interested in Reporting Services as it relates to other BI topics, a good general business intelligence (BI) site provides a wealth of links in related topics to reporting and analysis. This site can be found at: www.businessintelligenceiq.com/overview.asp 382 Part VII: The Part of Tens

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Reporting Services Newsgroup If you have a question

Reporting Services Newsgroup If you have a question about a Reporting Services feature or want to share your experience of working with Reporting Services, you can navigate to the newsgroup to share with other developers like yourself. The Reporting Services newsgroup has ranked frequently as one of the top five most active newsgroups for all of SQL Server. Here are some ways to get to the newsgroup: If you have Outlook Express, the following link should open Outlook Express and connect to the Web site for the public reporting services newsgroup: news:microsoft.public.sqlserver.reportingsvcs Go to the MSDN (Microsoft Development Network) site, which is a Web version of the previous site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/newsgroups/default.aspx?dg= microsoft.public.sqlserver.reportingsvcs Chat or Webcast As Reporting Services was completed, Microsoft provided a tremendous number of Webcasts that were archived for viewing on demand. A great number of interesting Webcasts exist for Reporting Services. By the time you read this, there will no doubt be many more Webcasts. You may even be able to take part in regular chats to discover more advanced applications with Reporting Services. The site for the Webcasts, where you may find a great archive for viewing on demand is: www.microsoft.com/usa/webcasts/default.asp The site for seeing when chats are scheduled is: www.microsoft.com/communities/chats/default.mspx OLAP Reporting This may be an advanced topic, but when you work with Microsoft Analysis Services, you need to understand how Reporting Services functions in this Chapter 23: Ten Places to Find Reporting Services Support 381

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Chapter 23 Ten Places to Find Reporting Services

Chapter 23 Ten Places to Find Reporting Services Support In This Chapter Microsoft SQL Server Web site SQL Services Reporting Services Web site Where to find sample databases Reporting Services Report Packs Reporting Services Newsgroups Finding chats and Webcasts Working and better understanding OLAP and MDX SQL Server Magazine MSDN SQL Server development center for Reporting Services General BI Web site You can go to literally hundreds of places on the Internet to get more information or support when using Microsoft Reporting Services. These Web sites may change as the product matures, and Microsoft reserves the right to change their Web site at will. However, in my travels I have found solace in a few Internet knowledge stores that you may benefit from as well. Microsoft SQL Server Of course, one good place to look for information and links to what s new is to look at the vendors Web sites. This is intuitive, but you may not know exactly where to navigate because the home page changes daily and new products are services are being offered. Well, just bookmark the Web site www.microsoft.com/sql and you will be able to find the links for SQL Server. Reporting Services will not be many clicks away and you can see other business intelligence tools from this page.

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Chapter 23 Ten Places to Find Reporting Services

Reporting Services Web Site The main page within the SQL Server domain for Reporting Services is found at: www.microsoft.com/sql/reporting Here, you can see product overviews and demos, download new service packs and report packs, and take a skills assessment exam. More links are added periodically to move you to new content. Sample Databases for Reporting You may be wondering where to go on the Microsoft site to find some common sample databases to try your hand at reporting in unique and different environments. Some of the popular sample databases include AdventureWorks. The AdventureWorks2000 database is installed by the Reporting Services setup if you select the Documentation and Samples option in the installation. This option installs the complete documentation set for Reporting Services, code samples, report samples, and the AdventureWorks2000 database. In order to find the sample databases for Northwind or pubs, you must use the following link: www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID= 06616212-0356-46a0-8da2-eebc53a68034&DisplayLang=en Report Packs Microsoft has sponsored the development of sample report sets based on popular databases that are being used by mid-market businesses today. So example databases of content related to key functional applications have been constructed to provide a reference base for some interesting Reporting Services databases. Microsoft Report Packs are available to show how Reporting Services reports would work for popular applications. Microsoft provides Report Packs for IIS Logs, Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS), Financial Reporting, Microsoft CRM, and Exchange, as well as sample OLAP reports. These can be downloaded at the following site with all related information on Reporting Services downloads: www.microsoft.com/sql/reporting/downloads/default.asp 380 Part VII: The Part of Tens

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Clustering Support SQL Server 2005 provides for improved

Cache transparently synchronizes and maintains an updated copy of the data organized specifically for high-speed querying and for isolating endusers from overloading the relational databases. The structure of the cache is automatically derived from the Universal Data Model (UDM) structure and can be finely tuned to balance performance with latency of data. Integration with Microsoft Office Reports created by Reporting Services and executed by the Report Server can run in the context of Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server and Microsoft Office System applications such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. You can use SharePoint features to subscribe to reports, create new versions of reports, and distribute reports. You can also open reports in Word or Excel to view HTML versions of the reports. 378 Part VII: The Part of Tens

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Clustering Support SQL Server 2005 provides for improved

Clustering Support SQL Server 2005 provides for improved availability with support for failover clustering, enhanced multi-instance support, and support for backing up and restoring database information. SQL Server running on Windows 2003 Server can support eight clustered servers all sharing in the performance of database tasks required of it. Users will have access to a database during a restore operation, within certain limits. This helps get you up and running faster after problems. Key Performance Indicators The key relevant measures of the business are what are known as key performance indicators or KPIs. After a company defines its key performance measures, reporting them on a daily or even real-time basis helps monitor business performance. Key performance indicators (KPIs) provide businesses with the capability to define graphic, customizable business metrics to help generate and track key corporate benchmarks. Scalability and Performance Features such as parallel partition processing, creation of remote relational online analytical processing (ROLAP) or hybrid online analytical processing (HOLAP) partitions, distributed partitioned cubes, persisted calculations, and proactive caching will greatly improve the scalability and performance of Analysis Services in SQL Server 2005. One-Click Cube When creating a cube in a data warehouse project, the Cube wizard includes an option to enable One-Click Cube detection and suggestions. This option examines the relationships in a data source view and makes suggestions for fact tables, dimension tables, and measures. Proactive Caching Proactive caching combines MOLAP class query performance with real-time data analysis and eliminates the need to maintain OLAP stores. The Proactive Chapter 22: Ten Ways to Hook Into the Microsoft BI Platform 377

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Chapter 22 Ten Ways to Hook Into the

your information and allow users to work with information in cubes where multiple dimensions of the data can be manipulated to see trends and deail in the underlying detail data. Integration Services DTS (Data Transformation Services) was the integration tool of SQL Server 2000. It consists of a set of graphical tools and programmable objects that you can use to extract, transform, and load (ETL) data from disparate sources and move it to single or multiple destinations. SQL Server 2005 introduces a complete redesign of DTS that is called Integration Services. Integration Services is loaded with new functionality to better control transformation logic. It automates many previously difficult tasks like handling slowly changing dimension transforms. It greatly adds to developer productivity and database scalability to provide a truly comprehensive platform for doing the basics of data integration: Extract, transform, and load operations. Data Mining Four new data mining algorithms are part of SQL Server 2005 Analytical Services. These algorithms assist developers in constructing complex analytical models and integrating them into business operations. Data mining is helpful in predicting what customers are most likely to buy, what products tend to be purchased together, and what the demand for a product is likely to be next month, and for segmenting customers in logical groups that represent various degrees of loyalty. The algorithms include decision trees, sequence clustering, time series, and neural nets. There are also new wizards and improved tools that will make data mining easier for businesses of any size. Reporting Services SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services is a service-based platform for creating, delivering, and managing traditional and interactive reports. Reports created with Reporting Services can be used for enterprise reporting on the Web, reporting to customers and partners through a secure Internet connection. Running a report is easy and intuitive for the typical business user so that self-service reporting can be achieved with little training. Ad hoc reports can be created using the Report Builder. Finally, developers can create complex and interactive reports easily to enhance the business user experience. 376 Part VII: The Part of Tens

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Chapter 22 Ten Ways to Hook Into the

Chapter 22 Ten Ways to Hook Into the Microsoft BI Platform In This Chapter Analysis Services Integration Services Data mining Reporting Services Clustering support Key performance indicators Scalability and performance One-Click Cube Proactive caching Integration with Microsoft Office SQL Server 2005 offers some tremendous capabilitities in terms of fulfilling a robust set of data warehousing and business intelligence needs within one database platform. SQL Server Reporting Services is just one of the many capabilities that SQL Server offers to streamline business intelligence design and development. This chapter talks about the top key SQL Server 2005 BI platform capabilities that, together with Reporting Services, make SQL Server 2005 an exciting platform for business intelligence. Analysis Services With SQL Server 2005, Analysis Services moves into the realm of real-time analytics. From scalability enhancements to deep integration with Microsoft Office, SQL Server 2005 helps extend business intelligence to every level of your business. Analysis Services offer ways to outline drill-down levels within

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Instead of using parameters, base your security decisions

Execute reports from cached/snapshot data as opposed to live data whenever possible. Limit non-essential background processing to off-peak hours in order to avoid contention with online users. If you load your report server up with 4GB memory, remember to set the /3GB switch in C:boot.ini so application processes can make use of it. If a single server can t handle the workload, consider locating the Reporting Services catalog on a remote SQL Server instance as your first step toward increasing system capacity. If one report server configured with a remote catalog still doesn t adequately support your workload, consider increasing the available resources on the system hosting your report server (scale-up), or setting up a clustered Web farm of report servers (scale-out). 374 Part VII: The Part of Tens

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