In This Chapter
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a robust, flexible, and fully capable enterprise-grade reporting tool. It’s important to understand that SSRS is a reporting tool — not a dashboarding tool. Dashboarding refers to interactive analytics applications delivered over the Web to your desktop, tablet, or smartphone that allow you to slice and dice predefined data views that represent your most important metrics. Reporting, on the other hand, indicates a somewhat static presentation of the data with some parameterized options and minimal navigation functionality between reports. Reporting functionality is geared toward mass consumption in the form of e-mail subscriptions or an on-demand, browser-based review of the data.
This chapter gives you a high-level overview of SSRS and provides a solid understanding of what SSRS can do for you.
You may find it difficult to comprehend why you should make the leap from Excel reporting to the unfamiliar world of SSRS. The truth is that SSRS has several strengths and advantages that you should consider: