In the recent months we have endeavored to keep forward thinking Directions fans current with developing Business Intelligence and Data Analysis trends. We have documented Microsoft’s focus going forward with Cloud First/Mobile First products such as Power BI (cloud-based) and Power BI for Desktops. These easy-to-use tools allow fast and secure access to many varied data sources (both Microsoft and non-Microsoft) in order to quickly develop graphical representations of those data stores to enhance end user understanding and acceptance.
Microsoft SQL Server has long been a prime candidate for storing, accessing, manipulating and analyzing data for both small companies and huge corporate data warehouse implementations. SQL Server includes support for both Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) and Business Intelligence (BI) products with a dedicated Online Analytic Processing (OLAP) engine.
Most IT pros are aware of the various supplemental technologies available with a SQL instance such as SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). SSRS is a natural companion for the publication and distribution tools provided by Microsoft like SharePoint and Power BI (both cloud and desktop clients).
But here’s what you may have missed: Microsoft is developing additional functionality in SQL Server Reporting Services for creating and publishing mobile and tablet-based presentations in a familiar Graphical User Interface (GUI) with a few clicks of the mouse. The Microsoft SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher is designed to power-up your collection of Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools.
What Is Paginated Documents (Mobile or Adaptive)?
Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a tried and tested platform for designing, generating, and delivering reports in a traditional format, that is Paginated Documents. A Paginated Document lays out content on fixed-size pages, flowing from one page to another while generating additional pages on the fly to accommodate the content. This approach to report publishing is optimum for larger tablet, laptop and desktop screens. Mobile devices often require a different context to adequately portray the data’s true story and are candidates for mobile reports. Mobile reports can also be categorized as having an Adaptive character.
A Report Designed for Paginated Documents
Enter mobile reports with SSRS. As more and more opportunities arise to display BI content on mobile devices users need to view relevant data representations on smartphones and tablets. In order to provide an optimized presentation on these devices, we need a Responsive Layout process that adapts to varying screen sizes and orientations. We need to provide mobile views that mitigate issues inherent in a single (non-responsive) layout. In order to conform to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend for corporate IT services where the client end users assume corporate reporting resources are available on a wide variety of devices.
*Adaptive Report Behavior on Tablet or Mobile Clients
What is Datazen Wise?
Microsoft’s purchase of the Datazen BI publishing technology offers a new data paradigm providing seamless synchronization with disparate data sources to any varied device types, whether it be workstation, tablet or mobile platform. Microsoft/Datazen technologies enable the user to work with up to 100,000 records locally, enhancing response time by insuring the most up-to-date data is synced onto the device.
What Is Microsoft Wise?
The prime contribution Microsoft provides to this new way of working is with enhanced offerings within the Microsoft SQL Server product itself, specifically enhanced SQL Server Reporting Services features. The existing platform for SSRS remains as a foundation facilitating these upgraded operations.
What Does SSRS Do?
To put it plainly, it enables simplified creation and publication of reports optimized for mobile device presentation. Excel and Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services data are instantly represented with stunning visualizations created by the client/end user employing familiar drag and drop operations.
How SSRS Does It
Microsoft SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher presents a Graphical User Interface (GUI) very similar to Power BI Tools including a drag and drop design feature, secure access to various data stores and publication to SSRS instances via a new web-portal.
Data Access for Mobile Reports
The data tab provides access to and refreshing of data underlying a mobile report presentation. Microsoft Excel and SSRS services are the default sources for report generation and publication.
Why You Need It
The Bottom Line: Make your Mobile Presentations compliant with the various devices encountered in today’s IT client free-for-all environment, quickly and securely.
This is an early preview of Microsoft SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher capabilities and is a work in process. Serious configuration for SSRS is required to successfully implement this technology. We will update our coverage of Microsoft SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher as the product matures.
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