Watusi (SSRS Management Tools Changes for Katmai)

For Katmai we are considering the removal of namespace management (folders, reports, data sources, models) from the Reporting Services Add-in for SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). In other words, we are considering removing the 'Home' folder under the Reporting Server node in SSMS.

Why the change?

Customer feedback and usage data indicates that Report Manager and/or SharePoint are the tools of choice for managing the Report Server namespace, rather than the SSMS add-in. The design constraints of SSMS mean that any new namespace functionality is significantly expensive to implement, specifically adding support for the namespace in SharePoint integrated mode. For Katmai we want to invest in SharePoint and Report Manager for namespace management and focus on SSMS as a server-level management tool.

This means that the namespace management functions that are not available in Report Manager (Model ClickThrough and Model Item Security) will be added to Report Manager (they are already in SharePoint). Job Management, configuring System properties, and administering Roles will be moved to SSMS. In addition, SSMS will be updated to work in SharePoint mode.

If you have feedback about these changes, please feel free to comment.


Comments (10)
  1. Lance Hunt says:

    This all sounds good – so long as you continue to support FormsAuth Security.  Also, I am assuming that you would still be able to deploy reports & manage folder/item security via Report Manager…

    On a site note: it would be especially nice if ReportBuilder supported FormsAuth in future versions.

  2. Brian Welcker posts some information on changes they are consindering to how you will administer Sql

  3. Chris Blevins says:

    After having used SSRS 2005 for almost two years now, I can honestly say that I have not adminstered my instances in anything but the Reports Manager and Reporting Services Configuration Tool.  I think this is the right direction, and I would like to see Reports Manager beefed up.  

  4. That may make sense. You mentioned a couple of features from SSMS that would be added to Report Manager. What about scripting objects like you can currently do in SSMS?

    My only other concern is that webforms are clunkier than winforms unless special attention is made to performance and usability.

  5. bwelcker says:

    Thanks for all of the feedback. To address some of the comments:

    We will continue to improve Report Manager as well as the SharePoint interface. Making usable web applications is always a challenge but I think things like the Atlas toolkit can help in this area.

    Scripting is one of the things that is very hard to do in a web-based application. However, the current scripting interface is very limiting as you can only script a single object at a time. I think something like the Reporting Sevices Scripter (http://www.sqldbatips.com/showarticle.asp?ID=62) is very cool and we think would provide more long term value.

    On forms authentication, we do not plan to drop support for it and are hoping to make it easier to configure. There is a limitation with ClickOnce and forms authentication that we will continue to work with the Framework team to improve.

  6. Scott says:

    Perhaps because I work more as a DBA with responsibilities for the relational databases as well as SSRS instances, I prefer to leave functionality in SSMS to maintain a single, consistent UI for management.  I use SSMS all the time for managing datasources, creating Data Driven Subscriptions, scripting for source control, and so on.  I find SSMS to be easier / faster to use than Report Manager for the reasons a previous comment stated — windows apps are more responsive than web apps.  Perhaps Atlas can help, but I’d like to wait and see.

    We are not currently integrated with Sharepoint (we embed reports into our own app), so perhaps I’m less interested as well in the WSS / MOSS functionality for the time being.  

    Please don’t require me to use two separate apps (one win, one web) to administer both the relational and reporting engines.

  7. Kristen says:

    I have to agree with Scott.  Having ONE place to administer all my SQL Server technologies is preferable.

    Perhaps users report that they use the Report Manager because they aren’t familiar with the add-in for SSMS rather than it truly being a preferred choice?  Perhaps education is the solution as opposed to redesign.

  8. Stan says:

    I’m with Scott and Kristen on this, and I’ll also add that I dislike web based management tools.  I just prefer the responsiveness and feel of real windows apps to web apps.

    This sounds like a step backwards, sort of how one had to administer Site Server with some stuff in web apps, some in win apps (mcc).  Ick.

  9. bwelcker says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I would like to know if you are really using SSMS to manage your report server, not just whether you like the idea of a Windows-based management tool. We will still have a SSMS-based tool, but it would not be able to add folders, delete reports, etc.

  10. jcnovoa says:

    Any ideas on a work around the "object moved" issue when using Forms Authentication and SharePoint?

    developers are definitely having a hard time making this work.

    More on this here


    and here



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