Home > Articles > Data > SQL Server

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

The Report Manager

So far we've given an overview of designing reports and deployment to a Report Server. We've said little about how these deployed reports can be managed while in the Report Server, nor how a user might choose a report to run. Well, to do this Microsoft provides a Report Manager ASP.NET web application. The Report Manager provides an attractive interface that acts as a wrapper to the URL calls and SOAP methods of the Report Server.

The Report Manager can be accessed on its default URL of http/https://<server>/Reports. What users see rendered in their web browsers depends on the security permissions they have been assigned; reassuringly, users can perform administrative functions only if they have Administrative privileges. In Chapter 4 we'll discuss Report Manager security and explain how to setup Administrative and User account roles. The Report Manager really comes into its own as a user application that enables users to choose from and execute the managed reports that they have permissions to access.

Managing Security Permissions

The Reporting Services security permissions system is extensive and is based on assigning roles to Windows domain, local machine user, or group accounts. Here's how it works. At the lowest level of granularity, the various tasks that can be performed are identified, and these tasks can be aggregated into various defined roles by an Administrator or someone with appropriate privileges.

Out of the box there are four defined roles—Browser, Content Manager, My Reports, and Publisher—providing permissions very much along the lines of what their names imply. Because these roles are constructed from a selectable list of task operations that can be performed, it is possible to define new roles consisting of different subsets of tasks. Keep in mind that by default ordinary users have no rights; only those who have Administrator rights can access these roles unless you modify the permissions for your selected accounts.

Managing Folders

As mentioned earlier, the Report Server maintains managed reports and shared Data Sources in notional folders, and the Report Manager lets users navigate these folders. Depending on security permissions, the person browsing can create new folders and can delete, move, hide, rename, and edit the descriptions of folders or reports. Of course, if the person browsing doesn't have permission to see a report or folder, then it isn't visible when the user views the Report Manager. In addition, it is possible to set permissions for users and configure the Report Server to maintain folders on a per-user basis on a model similar to the My Documents folder on the Windows file system. This model enables users to have their own My Reports folders for their own reports (independent of other users) that they alone can see.

Managing Shared Data Sources

Subject to permissions, any shared Data Sources can be managed by a user through the Report Manager. Users can change credentials and Connection strings in the Data Sources on a live Report Server without invoking a development tool.

Managing Linked Reports

One of the cool Report Server features that the Report Manager exposes is the ability to create, name, delete, and manage linked reports. This is a report description that doesn't have any RDL of its own. The concept here is very similar to the way a shortcut operates in the Windows file system. The Report Manager enables linked reports to have different default values, different visibility for parameters, and different security than those of the underlying report to which they are linked, and it provides a placeholder for a user to execute. Alas, for a linked report, it is not possible to establish Data Sources or credentials that differ from the ones used by the real underlying report. Now that would be interesting.

Managing Shared Schedules

We have referred to schedules several times in different contexts. The Report Manager provides a mechanism for creating system-wide schedules that can be shared wherever a schedule can be used and can be managed from a central point.

Managing the Cache, Snapshots, History, and Report Execution Timeout

When we discussed the Report Server, we mentioned caching Snapshots and creating historic Snapshots. Yes, you can use the Report Server SOAP interface to configure these, but you'll probably be relieved to know that the Report Manager provides a UI wrapper around the SOAP interface to let you easily configure these and many other features without needing to resort to programming.

At the site level, someone with Administrator privileges can create defaults using the Report Manager to set the maximum execution time in seconds that a server should spend rendering each report before it decides to abandon it and return a message to the user. This site default can also be overridden on each report.

Subscriptions

Users with the requisite permissions can subscribe to managed reports using the Report Manager. This means that selected users can configure a managed report to be delivered to them via one of the installed Delivery extensions (such as Report Server File Share) or by e-mail on a personal or a shared schedule. With additional permissions a user can configure a data-driven subscription, where configuration information and distribution lists can be derived from a query on a table.

Help

All the pages that constitute the Report Manager have context URL links to HTML help pages. If the Report Manager is going to be deployed in the default location where users select and execute reports, it is reassuring to know that an out-of-the-box help system is provided. If you are going to build your own report management system, you'll need to budget time to explain how it works and possibly provide your own online help system.

Extending the Report Manager

The Report Manager is intended to be a closed, black-box solution. Because of this Microsoft has not released the source code. In our opinion, the Report Manager is a delightful application, but there are some rough edges that you may find that you want to smooth out. In this respect, not all the settings that one might like to adjust from the Report Manager are provided. Although some of these may be added at a later stage, at the moment a System Administrator may have to delicately futz around with the XML-like configuration files or find a custom application that does it. Another irritation that comes to mind is that there is very little control over the layout of the ASP.NET controls that are used to collect the parameters in a report.

Microsoft's official position is that you should make your own Report Manager if you don't like the way the Report Manager works. To some extent, Microsoft helps by providing some sample starter applications. The problem is that it's a heck of a lot of work to build all the functionality that the Report Manager application provides when you want to add only a few bells and whistles.

Well, because we are not on the red pill we spoke of earlier, we can be mischievous and tell you how to pry open the Report Manager black box and provide the degree of customization you might want. This certainly takes much less effort than creating a whole Report Manager application. Of course this approach is hostage to Microsoft changing things, as it is at liberty to do in the future. However, the approach we'll show you in Chapter 11 enables you to make easy modifications now, and if Microsoft comes back and breaks your toys later (as we told you it might), at least you'll be able to incorporate them into your own Report Manager should you be forced to build one.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020