SQL Server 2017 Reporting Services now generally available

Today, as part of the release of SQL Server 2017, we’re pleased to make SQL Server 2017 Reporting Services generally available. This release cycle, we’ve built on the success of SSRS 2016, which we’re seeing customers adopt at an incredible rate, and delivered several enhancements, from a lightweight installer, to a modern REST API, to an updated Report Viewer control and web part, and more.

Lightweight installer

First things first: If you’ve installed previous versions of Reporting Services, installing SSRS 2017 will be a little different. After much research into how customers install and update Reporting Services, we moved installation from the SQL Server installer to a separate installer. This lightweight installer – under 100 MB and only a few screens – delivers a few benefits. First, if you already have SQL Server (2008-2017) Database Engine deployed within your organization to store the report server database, you can now download and install Reporting Services in just a few minutes. Second, you can now update Reporting Services in a few minutes, too. Third, since the installer is specific to Reporting Services, you can now install the latest version of Reporting Services or the latest update and be certain it’ll have zero impact on your SQL Server databases or other SQL Server features.

SSRS 2017 Setup

To run SSRS 2017 in production, just enter your SQL Server 2017 product key during setup.

REST API

This release cycle, we wanted to invest in updating our developer story, and we’re excited to introduce a new, modern REST API for Reporting Services. Think of it as a RESTful successor to the legacy ReportingService2010 SOAP API.

The REST API provides programmatic access to the objects in a report server catalog: folders, reports, KPIs, data sources, datasets, refresh plans, subscriptions, and more. Using the REST API, you can, for example, navigate the folder hierarchy, discover the contents of a folder, or download a report definition. You can also create, update, and delete objects: upload a report, execute a refresh plan, delete a folder, and so on.

A modern REST API calls for modern API documentation, so we built on the OpenAPI Specification (a.k.a. the Swagger specification) and published the documentation on SwaggerHub. Beyond documenting the API, SwaggerHub even helps you generate a client library in your language of choice – JavaScript, TypeScript, C#, Java, Python, Ruby, and more. We’ve also published a sample app on GitHub – an HTML5 app built on TypeScript, React, and webpack.

Visual Studio 2017 and MSBuild support

If you’re a report developer using Visual Studio 2017, you can now get the Reporting Services projects extension – and the latest updates for it – from the Visual Studio Marketplace. Plus, the latest update adds MSBuild support, so you can automate build and deployment of your project even on servers without Visual Studio installed.

Report Viewer for ASP.NET and SharePoint

Sticking with the developer theme, we’ve updated the Report Viewer control for ASP.NET Web Forms, as well as the Report Viewer web part for SharePoint Server 2013-2016. Have an ASP.NET Web Forms app that uses the Report Viewer control to embed paginated (RDL) reports? Get the updated version from NuGet and enjoy modern browser support, cross-browser printing, and a modern look-and-feel. Want to embed paginated reports into SharePoint Server 2013-2016? With the updated Report Viewer web part, you can show or hide specific toolbar buttons, override report parameter values, or even connect Filter web parts to report parameters – all without the complexity of the previous “SharePoint-integrated mode.”

Report comments

Now you can engage in a discussion about a report, right beside the report itself. Just open the Comments pane and post away, even adding attachments if you like. You can control who has permission to view and post comments at a folder level or even for a particular report.

Show/hide Download menu

Last but not least, while the Download menu in the web portal can provide handy access to tools like Report Builder and Mobile Report Publisher, many of you told us you wanted the option to hide this menu if your users don’t need these tools and don’t have Administrator privileges to install them. We listened, and we’re happy to offer this option in SSRS 2017; just set the system property ShowDownloadMenu=False (you can use SQL Server Management Studio to manage system properties). It’s a little thing, but a nice example of how your feedback really does influence the product.

Power BI Report Server

Want everything in SSRS 2017, plus web and mobile viewing of Power BI reports? Step up to Power BI Report Server – enterprise reporting and self-service BI, all in one on-premises solution. Since it’s built on SSRS, Power BI Report Server includes all the enterprise reporting capabilities of SSRS, and you can migrate your existing SSRS reports or even your entire report server database. Power BI Report Server is included with the purchase of Power BI Premium and available as a Software Assurance benefit for SQL Server Enterprise customers. For more on the relationship between Power BI Report Server and SSRS, read “A closer look at Power BI Report Server.”

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