In Part II of this book, we focused on report authoring. You have learned fancy techniques for creating whiz-bang reports. However, the fact is, even the whiz-bangiest of reports are not much good if you cannot easily share them with end users.
In this chapter, you will learn how to do just that. We will move from authoring to managing reports and delivering them to the end users. This is done through the Report Server and its Report Manager web interface.
We took a brief look at the Report Server and the Report Manager in Chapter 1. Now, we will take a more detailed look. Much of our examination will focus on the Report Manager and how it is used to access and control the Report Server.
The first step is moving your report definitions and supporting files from the development environment to the Report Catalog. Recall that the Report Catalog is the SQL Server 2000 database where the Report Server keeps all its information. This information includes the definitions of the reports it is managing. We will look at several ways to accomplish this report deployment.
Once your reports are available through the Report Server, you’ll need to control how they are executed. We will use the Report Server’s security features to control who can access each report, and we will use the caching and report history to control how a report is executed each time it is requested by a user. Finally, we will control all these Report Server features using the Report Manager.
In short, in this chapter we will take your reports from a single-user development environment to a secure, managed environment where they can be executed by a number of users.