SQL Azure Reporting Preview

What the Windows Azure platform missed, was an implementation of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). That doesn’t mean reports are not able, there is no service for storing those reports.

With Visual Studio 2010 are you able to create a report (RDLC) and this report can connect to a SQL Azure database. By storing the report (RDLC) on Windows Azure storage, you could change the report definition without doing a full deploy of your Windows Azure service.


But now SQL Azure Reporting is coming. There already was a CTP available, but now Reporting is avail in a real Preview vorm. The only thing missing at this point, the datasource must be SQL Azure. So do you need a XML source or some other datasource, then you need to choose the RDLC solution path.


To develop a report you follow the traditional  development, like you use for ‘normal’ SQL Reporting reports. With SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio you create a Reporting project and use the Report Wizard or create a Report. When done you just deploy the report to the SQL Azure Reporting server https://<server>.reporting.windows.net/reportserver. On this URL you also can get a preview of the report you just deployed.




The Target Server URL is the SQL Azure reporting server where the report definitie (RDL) will be deployed to. In this preview of SQL Azure reporting you can control a lot more things. The reports can be grouped on the server in different folders etc. Also you can create users and apply rights. This makes it more robust and powerfull.


On the Windows Azure portal we now can browse through the directories etc. And as we are used on the Windows Azure portal, there is right mouse context menu support, to execute certain actions and settings.


During the other preview you could not do that all.


The report on the server can be added to your ASPX page rather easily.


Ofcourse you have to add the correct credentials, but that is rather easy.


So now there is nothing in the way to create great Windows Azure applications with SQL Azure reporting.

The only problem is the ReportViewer control. The control is rich and powerfull (We use it in a project to save report RDLC as PDF in a WorkerRole), but still based on old architecture. It is possible to use the ReportViewer in for example SilverLight, but you have to go to HTML of ASPX to let it work. Lets hope there will be a new control in de near future.

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