SSRS Mobile Reports Architecture
By: Siddharth Mehta
SQL Server Reporting Services 2016 ships with a set of tools and technologies to enable mobile reporting on a variety of mobile devices like phones and tablets. Devices are of different width and height and may be hosting different platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, etc. The architecture forms the basis of any solution, and in this section we will learn about the SSRS Architecture and Tools that facilitate mobile reporting.
Consider analyzing the below diagram which contains the set of tools and technologies
related to mobile reporting in SSRS. On a higher level, there are three parts of
report delivery - Authoring the report, Deploying / Hosting the report, and Consuming
The below diagram categorizes the different tools in these areas.
1) Microsoft acquired a mobile business intelligence company named Datazen. Using this technology it introduced mobile reporting in SQL Server Reporting Services 2016. The tool to author mobile reports is known as SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher. Consider downloading and installing this tool, as it will be required to author mobile reports.
Mobile reports can access data directly either from Excel or from Shared Datasets deployed on a Reporting Services web portal. SQL Server Data Tools or Reports Builder can be used to author shared datasets. Consider downloading and installing SQL Server 2016 Reports Builder to author and deploy shared datasets.
2) Once mobile reports are authored they can be deployed to a SSRS Web Portal. Mobile reports have the extension .rsmobile. Mobile reporting is not an integral part of SSRS, so when these reports are accessed, based on the device that is used to access the reports, the SSRS service will render the output accordingly.
3) Mobile reports can be accessed from a browser directly. In this case, the mobile reports output would be rendered in HTML5 format. SSRS reports can be easily integrated with Power BI in the cloud as well as with the Power BI Mobile App. Reporting Services Configuration Manager provides settings to integrate SSRS with Power BI. This allows to directly pin SSRS reports on Power BI Dashboards.
The Power BI mobile app provides options to directly authenticate and integrate with a SSRS server. After connecting, the reports deployed on a SSRS server can be accessed on the mobile device using the app. Power BI native mobile app is available for iOS, Android and Windows platforms. This native app abstracts the complexity of rendering the report responsively as the platform, width and height of the device.
In the next chapter we will introduce the SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher tool, which is the first step towards authoring mobile reports.
- Consider exploring the Datazen website to get more details about the Datazen mobile technology features. A migration assistant from Datazen dashboards to SSRS is also available.