The SSRS report has been written, parameters have been set, and now it’s time to go live with the report. There are still a few lingering questions before users can start happily reading the report. How will they subscribe to the report? What format will the report be? What kind of security needs to exist around the report? These questions can determine what kind of tool to use to schedule your SSRS report.
Report Formatting Options
Let us first tackle how the report will be formatted. By default, SSRS can export to Word, PDF, CSV, Tiff, XML, and Excel. In most cases these formats will satisfy a wide variety of reporting needs. There are cases however that require additional security, or format types. Using external tools or plugins such as SQL-RD can automatically format SQL Reporting Services reports in extensions that are unavailable in normal SSRS. Lotus Notes, Rich Text, and dBase are just a few atypical format types that are supported. To further enhance the capabilities of your SSRS reports, PDF or Excel outputs can be encrypted. PDF files can have user based permissions added, or the report can be set to expire after a certain period. ZIP or PGP encryption can be added to the SSRS report output as well.
Report Delivery Options
Using a business scheduler or external tool for SSRS can expand report delivery options as well. Typically email, file share and SharePoint (if configured) are possible delivery locations for an SSRS report. Also a business scheduler opens up new report destination types such as fax, FTP, or even delivers the report to another database via an ODBC connection. This destination can even be configured based on information in SQL Server. For example, if the data stipulates that one report version must be delivered to an FTP site, while another must be sent to a printer, then the business scheduler will automatically format and deliver the report accordingly.
Report Scheduling Options
Obviously, a business scheduler would offer a greater variety of scheduling options than those offered in SQL Reporting Services. Customized calendars, dedicated thread management, and event driven reporting are just a few options external SQL Reporting Services schedulers offer. Combining SSRS with these types of systems can give your reporting system the flexibility to handle any scenario. From a wider variety of output formats, to advanced security options, using an external business scheduler will maximize SQL Reporting Services capabilities!