Tuesday, September 13, 2011

SSRS Denali enhancements in Sharepoint integrated mode

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I apologize to my blog readers that I have been very passive in blogging these days, but I am just recovering from some personal issues and getting on track. I promise to be back on normal pace of my blogging within a weeks time.

Advancements in SSRS Denali, as heard and seen in TechEd seems to be bridging the gaps that should have been ideally filled up in the R2 release itself. But its better late than never !!

1) The first gap that is being filled up is SSRS Sharepoint integration. Though integrated mode has been supported, but implementing this mode has required a cross IT team efforts. Also its a know fact that reports deployed on sharepoint integrated mode, have been found to be performing slower compared to native mode. In my understanding, SSRS Denali brings SSRS as a shared service in sharepoint, and effectively it would benefit from all the advantages of being a shared service in Sharepoint.

On the other side, alarming situation is that endpoints that used to work for sharepoint integrated deployment, might not work in the same manner with SSRS denali. This can be a major migration blow for applications accessing reports programatically from application servers using these endpoints.

2) SSRS Logs have been very limited to ExecutionView3 tables, and rest of the help was provided by tools like Fiddler to troubleshooting. In integrated mode, logging also seems to have been considerably improved.

3) Data Alerts is one of the new enhancements in SSRS Denali, which can be thought of a SQL Scheduled Job implementation that sits in Sharepoint DB, to watch over the change in data. This sounds very good, but it looks little risky from the way it can continuously trouble database servers to check for alerts, as I have not heard about how much control is available of the frequency of alerts.

4) Crescent is another flavor of self-service reporting, requires silverlight and works in a browser in Sharepoint only. Presentation of data looks like fancy, and even controls similar to motion framework for trend-analysis are being introduced in this tool.

5) SSRS Denali is also bringing better export options like ZIP formats, support for Office 2007 based export formats, better compression, better performance in sharepoint integrated mode and more.

From a higher level, most of these are welcome changes. But from an architecture standpoint, it would be interesting to see whether sharepoint integrated mode ssrs deployment, changes architecture in a big way and whether it brings dead end to seamless migration from R2.

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