What do you need to know about – “Report Builder 3.0”

Hi All,
People who have been working with SSRS and Report Builder are well aware about the release of new “Report Builder 3.0“. I have summarized following introduction, features & facts about the product.

If you already know or work with any previous versions of Report Builders then understanding “WHY” is no big deal. So here is a small introduction of new Report Builder 3.0 – This introduces additional visualizations including maps, sparklines, databars, and indicators which can help us producing fantastic reports (layouts based on requirements) so well that can be achieved with standard tables and charts. And as you know that there are “silos of people” who understands only language of reports for their decisions.

The new Report Part Gallery introduced in this release – takes self-service reporting to new heights by enabling users to re-use existing report parts as building blocks for creating new reports in a matter of minutes with a “grab and go” experience.

Additionally, users will experience significant performance improvements with enhancements to the ability to use Report Builder in server mode. This allows much faster report processing with caching of datasets on the report server when switching between design and preview modes 🙂

What is Report Builder 3.0?
It is the latest release of the report authoring tool of SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services.  It has capabilities to further increase end user productivity with enhanced wizards, more powerful visualizations, and intuitive authoring capabilities.

What are the key features of Report Builder 3.0?
New features include following:
•    “Grab and Go” reporting experience enabled through the Report Part Gallery
•    Support for maps and geospatial visualizations with integration to Bing maps and support for SQL spatial data types.
•    Additional visualizations including indicators, sparklines and data bars
•    Support for consuming SharePoint lists and PowerPivot models as data sources
•    Support for Madison and SQL Azure data sources
•    Render any report as a data source to PowerPivot or other applications through ATOM data feeds

Is this a replacement for Report Builder 1.0?
Not for this release.  It does replace Report Builder 2.0 but there is still some additional functionality from Report Builder 1.0 that did not make it into this release. So may be in future it will replace 1.0.

Can I still continue to use Report Builder 1.0?
Yes.  Report Builder 1.0 will be included with SQL Server 2008 R2. Though there are significant numbers of features delivered that are not backwards compatible for 1.0. Remember, once a report has been modified in Report Builder 3.0 you will no longer have the ability to open or edit the report in Report Builder 1.0 or Report Builder 2.0.

Is this a replacement for BI Development Studio (BIDS)?
Of course Not. Although many customers are finding that Report Builder meets their report design needs, but Report Builder 3.0 does not replace BIDS.

What are the key differences between Report Builder 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0?  
Features delivered in Report Builder 2.0:
(tablix, charts, gauges, etc.)

Features delivered in Report Builder 3.0:
(Report Part Gallery, maps, sparklines etc.),

But the key differences between Report Builder 1.0 and Report Builder 3.0 are following:
Report Builder 1.0:
•    Simple, single data region, model based reports
•    Requires report model
•    Supports only SQL Server, Oracle, Teradata, and Analysis Services as data sources
•    Supports RDL 2005 and above
•    Bundled in SSRS 2008 R2
•    Ad hoc Query Building capability

Report Builder 3.0:
•    Full-featured reports as the BIDS Report Designer, supporting multi region and multi data sources
•    Support both Report model and direct data sources connectivity
•    Supports any SSRS-supported data source including Model, SSAS, SQL RDB, SQL Azure, SQL Server Parallel Data •   Warehouse, Oracle, Teradata, SAPBW, Essbase, etc.
•    Supports RDL 2008 R2
•    Bundled in SSRS 2008 R2 with ClickOnce support.  Also delivered as a separate download.

What data sources are supported by Report Builder 3.0?
It can use any SSRS-supported data sources including report model, SQL Server Analysis Services, SQL Relational DB, Oracle Relational DB, Teradata, SAPBW, Oracle Essbase, etc. Moreover it also supports the New additions like SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse and SQL Azure.

Where do I get access to Report Builder 3.0?
This has released as a standalone download as part of the SQL Server 2008 Feature Pack and can be accessed through Microsoft Download Center here. Currently Microsoft is giving away this download for FREE.

Will ClickOnce be available with the release of Report Builder 3.0?  
Yes. ClickOnce install & launch directly from report manager / SharePoint will be supported at the time Report Builder 3.0 releases with SQL Server 2008 R2.

Can I use SQL 2008 R2 Reporting Services and Report Builder 3.0 with SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008?  
Yes.  SQL Server 2005 and SQL 2008 can be used as a data source for SQL 2008 R2 Reporting Services and Report Builder 3.0. However, Report Builder 3.0 generates 2008 R2 – based RDL structures that are not supported by RS 2005 or RS2008.  Therefore, you cannot directly publish Report Builder 3.0 generated reports to a RS 2005 server.

What are the licensing requirements for Report Builder 3.0?
Report Builder 3.0 requires a SSRS 2008 R2 license.

I hope that you will also find this interesting and useful.
Thanks, Khilit

Source: Microsoft Articles & Posts

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