September 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You can develop and deploy report online with sql azure reporting services –it can give you business intelligence - Just imagine a scenario where you are working with your application and getting reports but everything is on cloud, idea is very simple and been implemented and used by Azure reporting services, SQL Azure reporting is basically cloud based reporting mechanism build on sql server reporting services and Microsoft azure technologies. This cloud based reporting or you can call it cloud reporting services basically  easy for provisioning, cutting cost, highly available and reduced administration and management for reporting server – whereas traditionally everybody is managing report server for all reports to be available and working.
If you have confusion with SQL Server reporting services on which sql azure reporting is based, sql server reporting services- is basically a tool-set that allows anyone once installed on physical machine to create and manage and maintain reports after installation whereas sql azure reporting service is cloud based hosted serves for anyone to use it anywhere online in a cloud environment where Microsoft data-center is hosted where you do not need to focus on anything but on your main objective.
sql azure reporting services cloud based
understand sql azure reporting by example

You need to sign up/subscribe for sql azure reporting services.
You will be having business intelligence design studio for designing report online
Or you will be having report builder where you will be authoring report to azure reporting online.
You will store all report data in sql azure online
You can manage report online sql azure report portal where you render these report into different formats xls, pdf etc.
Your authentication model will not be windows based but it will be online username/password but the thing is story does not end here please read further.

SQL Azure Reporting deep dive:

Windows azure environment contains a container for your number of services provisioned and vm according to your need if you have at least free azure account for a month.
Sql reporting is cloud service corresponding to sql server reporting service on azure cloud,
You will get much more for business intelligence as stack in azure container, you also can host SSAS on windows azure as part of you app.
And you have choice to author your customize report on windows azure container or azure environment for your enterprise to access it.
Now you have free azure account for at least one month where you have azure sql server reporting instance already provisioned, and windows azure will give you load balance environment on azure to give you report access any time you can also scale up and scale out this azure environment as per your need and according to your pocket too.
From windows azure dashboard you will select sql reporting link from your left navigation area and can create new sql reporting service to work with sql reporting and then you will have reporting service url to setup the actual report.

Once you have created sql reporting instance in your azure container then you have another dashboard from where you can configure users who can access your report on azure- you also can create item there which is called data source means which DB you want to access in that report.
It will prompt you for sql server credential and done, now you can use it to author report SSRS on azure container I hope this is helping for you to go further to design report I still believe you are not scared of so far.

You can browse your report builder as you do it traditionally but this time in your virtual environment, and write query to access sales numbers from xyz table(assuming a table name here) and define dataset as you do it in report designer. Now your dataset can talk with sql server reporting services and SQL DB behind the scene.

Once you save this report in your azure environment or reporting server in azure environment as .rdl file but you would see this report as item in your dashboard area in your azure environment.
Anyone can browse this report online via thin browser once you have granted permission who can access this report- hope this entire work can be done in azure container things become handy when you sign up for one month free azure access. ( see snap below as to what azure container will look like).

Though after one month free trial will expire-  it might cost you more but I haven’t tried something like publishing or authoring .rdl file somewhere else and accessing it from azure container might be nightmare for anyone because  of credential etc might be difficult part.

azure reporting on cloud
this illustration is for learning how you can get microsoft azure services where reporting services will be configured

If you are scared till now to understand this let me tell you this is basic stuff configuring sql azure reporting capabilities on azure and accessing it from azure container anyways stay connected to learn more stuff about azure and sql azure reporting on this site.