One of the most valuable uses of data is the reports which are generated from it. SQL Server Reporting Services allows an application to generate reports from on-premise SQL Server installations.
For cloud-based database services, we have SQL Azure Reporting which intends to fill the void of SQL Server Reporting Services in the cloud.
Uses of SQL Azure Reporting
SQL Azure has a strong security model, which allows secure access to reports and underlying data.
It allows developers to easily create reports from within an application or through SQL Azure portal.
It voids the need to build and manage a custom reporting platform.
How do I get SQL Azure Reporting?
You have to sign up for SQL Azure Reporting by going to the Azure Management Portal and select Reporting on the left.
SQL Azure Reporting is still in CTP stage, so you will need to sign up for it. Once your request has been approved, you will have to provision your service by following the steps listed when you click on the “Provision” link.
How to generate a report for SQL Azure Report
Let us get started by using SQL Azure Reporting to generate a report of our data.
Fire up SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio (you can get it as part of SQL Server 2008 R2).
Create a new Report project from “Report Server Project” template.
In the wizard screen, select “Microsoft SQL Azure” as your data source. Set up the connection properties.
Click “Next” and you will be on the screen to design the query.
Enter the query you want to represent in your report. You can use the Query Builder
On the next screen, you will have option to design the query.
Finally, save the report and click Finish.
At this stage, you have the option to customize the appearance of the report. While designing (redesigning) the report, you have the option to preview the report to see how it looks. Once your report is ready, you are ready to deploy the report to the SQL Azure Report Server.
When you initially provisioned your SQL Azure Reporting account, you are provided with the URL for the report server. You will need that URL to complete the deployment of your report.
Open up your report project and right click on it and select Properties. In the TargetServerURL property, paste the URL of the report server.
Give an appropriate meaningful name for TargetReportFolder property.
Click OK to finish setting up the properties.
Now, right click on the project and select “Deploy” to deploy your report to the SQL Azure Reporting server. You will be asked for your Reporting Services Login, enter that information and click OK. Your report will be deployed.
You can verify that your report is deployed by visiting the Reporting Server URL. You will be asked for login credentials which were used for provisioning. Once you provide the information, you will find the report in the folder titled as the same name as the value you provided earlier for the TargetReportFolder property. Once you find your report, click the link and you can view your report.
In this article, we learned how to create a report using SQL Azure Reporting. I hope you have found this information useful.
About the author
Vipul Patel is a Software Engineer currently working at Microsoft Corporation. He is currently working in the Microsoft Lync team and has worked in the .NET team earlier in the Base Class libraries and the Debugging and Profiling team. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org