The SSRS Basics You Need to Know

For many years now, Chicago business owners have been using SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to develop appealing paginated reports. SSRS, a suite developed by Microsoft, is an incredibly useful tool when it comes to aggregating and displaying data on a central server. Since its initial release, it’s gone through many iterations and changes that make it a little difficult for even the pros to keep up without some additional training. Here are a few of the SSRS basics you should keep in mind when getting started or doing a refresher.

Mobile reporting capabilities

Depending on who you ask, SSRS mobile reports are a different product altogether, albeit one that is integrated into SSRS. The mobile reports also have a much different use case as a result of them previously being owned by a company called ComponentArt until the product was acquired by Microsoft in 2015. The product was then repackaged, restructured, and rolled into SSRS shortly thereafter.

While most SSRS reports are typically rigid and document-oriented, the mobile reports are much more fluid as they use a grid-based system which allows them to adapt to any viewing window. Unless you tend not to go outside during the day, you know all too well that Chicago residents are glued to their phones, a testament to the distinctive draw of mobile reporting integrations for your project.

Benefits to learning SSRS

Though a majority of Microsoft’s tools have been honed on a razor’s edge, few provide the control and usability offered by SSRS. You have the final say in most any aspect of the reporting that you want to tweak, alter, or format to your specifications. From placing your components to selecting colors, fonts, and sizes, SSRS offers a great toolkit for developing unique, eye-catching reporting. It makes the printing process that much easier, once your operational documents are ready to go.

A lot of SSRS proponents also enjoy the data governance the suite provides. At its core, SSRS simply makes it easy to control who has access to your reporting as well as setting permissions. Central server storage is also a big draw for many users because it makes it easier to know that any view a user gets of the reporting is the most current version that’s available. It makes the administrative side of things go much more smoothly, which is an added benefit, as not every aspect of SSRS is quite so user-friendly.

SSRS drawbacks

There are no two ways around it: SSRS has a bit of a learning curve which creates a pretty significant barrier to entry. That’s not to say that it’s downright difficult to pick up, but it does mean that it’s not quite as intuitive as it needs to be at times. Without some professional training or assistance, you may find yourself struggling to learn the lay of the land. Is training mandatory? No, certainly not. But for the initial cost of acquiring SQL Server, it’s a good idea to learn the full functionality of the product.

Plus, SSRS training in Chicago doesn’t have to be a complete bank breaker. There are plenty of more affordably minded agencies throughout the city that specialize in navigating the unique quirks of the product. It’s a good idea to go with trainers that do in-office courses so your team can learn from the comfort of your office.

SSRS can be a major asset to your team, but only if you’re prepared to devote the time and energy to mastering it and you also understand its limitations. It’s not a perfect product, but it offers a great deal of functionality and external application integrations to make it well worth your while.