SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services is Microsoft’s entry into the web-based reporting arena. Reporting Services allows you to easily share business information—what is commonly known as “business intelligence” these days—with management, co-workers, business partners, and customers throughout the world. In an interconnected workplace, it makes sense that your reporting solution should offer company-wide, nationwide, and even worldwide communication.
Reporting Services was code-named Rosetta during internal development at Microsoft. This name comes from the Rosetta Stone, a stone slab found in 1799 that contains an inscription in both Egyptian hieroglyphics and Greek. This stone provided the key piece of information necessary to unlock the mystery of Egyptian hieroglyphics for the modern world. Just as the Rosetta Stone brought key information across 1,400 years of history, Rosetta, or Reporting Services, is designed to bring key information across distances to unlock the mystery of succeeding at your business.
The Rosetta project was originally conceived as part of the next version of Microsoft’s SQL Server database platform, code-named Yukon. However, as Microsoft told prospective customers about the features in Rosetta and demonstrated the first alpha versions, the reaction was very strong: “We need this product and we need it now!” Because of this reaction, Microsoft decided that Rosetta would not wait for the release of Yukon but rather would be made its own product and would work with SQL Server 2000.
Just what are the features of Reporting Services that got everyone so excited? Reporting Services provides an environment for creating a number of different types of reports from a number of different data sources. The reports are previewed and refined using this authoring tool. Once completed, the reports are deployed to a Report Server, which makes the reports available via the Internet in a structured, secure environment. Last, but not least, the report management and distribution portion of Reporting Services is free of charge to anyone with a SQL Server 2000 license.
Why did this set of features generate so much excitement? When you put them all together, the result is a product that facilitates the creation, management, and timely use of business intelligence.