Not only is SQL-RD a handy tool for scheduling SQL Server Reports, it can be a great way to manage SSRS report subscriptions. Many SQL-RD users have enjoyed the ability to schedule SSRS reports with expanded options such as report encryption, additional formats, and more destinations such as Sharepoint & Dropbox. In addition to the advanced subscription distribution features SQL-RD has to offer, it can also act as an SSRS report manager. Let’s look at three ways SQL-RD can help SQL Server admins manage their SSRS subscriptions.
SSRS reports from multiple environments can be managed in a single interface
As SQL-RD is in an external tool to SQL Server and SSRS, admins can set up report subscriptions that pull reports from multiple report service URLs. Why would you need multiple Reporting Services environments you say? Many firms have segmented reporting organizations, with separate databases, and disparate systems. SQL-RD enables the “unification” of these systems’ reporting without the need to fully integrate them. In other cases, some firms have separate SSRS instances for each of their clients. With SQL-RD, all report instances can be managed from a single interface. As an added bonus, reports from multiple environments can be batched and scheduled to be sent to recipients.
Multiple versions of SSRS can be managed from one location
Various parts of the firm using different versions of SQL Server? Rather than having to rewrite or migrate reports to updated versions, or manage each version separately, SQL-RD can manage the various report subscriptions from its own system. Moreover, multiple subscription versions of the same exact SSRS Report can be created in SQL-RD. Meaning that the same SSRS report can be run with different settings (i.e. parameters, database credentials, output format), without the need to edit the SSRS report, or create a new subscription in SSRS.
Additional management layers allow for more flexibility
Indeed SSRS’ subscription management system can handle most needs. However, there are many cases where adding SQL-RD as a SSRS report manager layer can make the experience much more flexible and efficient. In some large organizations access to manage subscriptions is simply not allowed. A group may only have access to a few dozen reports, but they do not have permission to create subscriptions for the reports, or schedule them in SSRS. Using SQL-RD, reports the department has access to can be managed by that department only. The said department can create subscriptions against that report and send the report to whom they see fit. Users can create their own subscriptions in SQL-RD as well. They can only create subscriptions for reports they have access to, and can create settings behind that report that the administration allows. This extra layer allows admins to fine tune their management policies, while still being flexible to the needs of departments and individuals.
With its ability to manage SSRS subscriptions from various SQL versions, SSRS reporting environments and increased options in determining distribution methods and formats, SQL-RD can make subscription administration flexible and easy. Moreover, subscription management can be expanded to more users, without violating the integrity of existing policies. Though SQL-RD is by no means a replacement for SSRS, it augments and expands SQL Reporting Services capabilities.