Do you need to break up your SSRS Reports and send them to unique email addresses? Whether invoices need to be sent customers, or sales reports need to be delivered to your sales team, there a couple of ways you can use SSRS bursting to distribute reports by email. Though there are several SSRS Report bursting methods, three are used the most widely. If you are distributing these reports in PDF, you could use a PDF tool to break up your report after it has been run, and deliver unique PDFs to an email address. Another method is the Data Driven bursting feature found in SSRS Reports schedulers. Finally an external tool such as SQL-RD can automatically burst SSRS reports.
The first method involves using a PDF tool such as PDF Explode, you can break up SSRS Reports into unique files, and send the reports to multiple email addresses. In your SSRS Report, each unique report will need to have its own page in the report. In the report header or footer, a unique email address, or addresses will need to be placed. This way when the report is generated each report page will have its own email address displayed. Using the PDF tool, you can break up the report into separate pages using the email address found in the header or footer. The SSRS reports can then be sent via email using a cleverly written batch file, or process automation tool could be used as well. There are some major issues with this method however. As a separate tool is breaking up the PDF file, it is difficult to track specific segments of the report, and whether or not the data is presented correctly. Displaying an email address in an awkward location can make the report look atheistically displeasing, or it could look out of place. Using a PDF tool for SSRS bursting may be less expensive, but its disjointed nature can end up causing more problems than it solves.
If you are using a SSRS Reports Scheduler such as SQL-RD, you can use their native bursting capabilities to break up the SSRS Report and deliver it to unique email addresses. The SSRS Report simply needs to prompt for the values necessary to break up the report (i.e. Order ID, invoice number).Using these parameters, the scheduling tool will burst SSRS Reports into separate files based on values listed in your SQL database. Also using data in your SQL Server table or view, the SSRS report is then automatically sent via email to the desired users. Moreover the individual report subscriptions can be sent to a variety of destinations such as SharePoint, or an FTP site. This method is much more attractive as it is handled completely within a single application. Also many scheduling tools have detailed auditing and tracking. In some cases, your report may need some adjustment in order to accommodate this type of SSRS bursting. In the end, you may find this to be the most flexible method of SSRS report bursting.
The final method is SSRS bursting using the data driven subscription features found in SSRS. Similar to using an external application to manage the subscriptions, Data Driven publishing uses information from your database. Tools such as SQL-RD only rely on a database to determine how reports are bursted and distributed. There are some downsides to the method. As opposed to using an external tool to manage the subscriptions, there is a longer setup time and requires a bit more knowledge of SQL Server. Also flexible options such as driving different reports to Fax, or FTP in differing formats would not be available. This method may cause headaches for some, but if you are determined to avoid getting an external tool, then this is the best if less flexible option!
All of the methods discussed have the ability to burst SSRS Reports by email, however they achieve this goal by different means. Probably the best methods involve a dedicated report scheduling tool that can track both emails and the reports they contain while allowing for greater flexibility in the report’s distribution. Choosing the right tool and method for you, depends largely on your reporting volume, security needs, and preferences.
ChristianSteven Software offers a dynamic SSRS Report bursting tool known as SQL-RD.