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Hitchhiker's Guide to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services (2004)
Front Cover Book Details
Author
Peter Blackburn
William R. Vaughn
Publication Date 10/1/2004
Format Paperback (233 x 178 mm)
Publisher Addison-Wesley Professional
Plot
How This Book Came to Life align="left">In the late summer of 2003, although in the sands of time it seems a lifetime away on another planet in a parallel universe, the warmth of the late afternoon sun was beaming down on Bill and me, while we sat in the gardens of a hotel near the campus of the Microsoft UK headquarters. We'd just given a number of successful presentations at a VBUG developer's conference, and we were both "high" on the post-conference euphoria. One of the sessions I had presented was on Reporting Services for Yukon--that's SQL Server 2005, but at that stage it was still in alpha builds. The Reporting Services session had been well received, and, as always when Reporting Services is first shown to developers, there was a noisy and palpable interest from the developer community, so many desperately clamoring to be released from the chains of other obtuse reporting software they were compelled to use. Fortunately, Microsoft had announced it was decoupling Reporting Services from the SQL Server 2005 project to be able to release it early. It was designed to work with SQL Server 2000, so there was quite some excitement in the air. align="left">As we sat there and ordered more drinks, I idly suggested that we could very easily write a book on Reporting Services--after all, there was nothing too complicated to Reporting Services. It's so intuitive that it couldn't take us long to turn out a 200-page book. align="left"> Peter: Ahem! By the way, Bill, I wasn't serious. It was an idle pipe dream, just like, "when I grow up I'm going to be an astronaut." align="left"> Bill: Is that why we put an astronaut space-walking on the cover of the book? Or is it because in the end we took the rocket science out of Reporting Services? align="left">Bill seized the idle, naive chatter at face value, and a few months later, after lengthy negotiations with Addison-Wesley, we started writing this book. We figured it would be done a few weeks after the product release, and we could have spent a leisurely spring lecturing and collecting royalties.Anyway, soon after we got started, my life stopped--perhaps just my old life--and a time warp began; I'm an awful lot older now, and strangely my grandparents seem much younger than me. You see, that initially conceived "easy" 200 pages mushroomed as we covered more ground in the technical detail we'd be proud to put our names to. I tried telling Bill that I always assumed that Sondra Scott, our acquisitions editor at Addison-Wesley, really had 4-point print in mind when calculating 200 pages. align="left"> Bill: What I didn't know was that Peter was thinking about 200 pages of microfiche. Who Is This Book For? align="left">When we are asked this question we usually answer "yes." This book is for you if you do anything with Reporting Services and value the enterprise security of your systems. So, that includes anyone from a user or manager with little technical knowledge, to a report developer or systems integrator, right up to and including the Reporting Services rocket scientists working with Microsoft. We kid you not; we were privileged to have worked very closely indeed with the Microsoft Reporting Services development team as we wrote this book, and get e-mails from members of the team asking us how we had implemented certain functionality, and we also fed back a lot of information to Microsoft as we wrote the book. In fact, one of the reasons we held back from publishing too soon after the launch of Reporting Services was because as a result of feedback we had given certain security-related functionality was scheduled to be placed in Service Pack 1. At that point, we realized too many issues needed resolution to rush the book to press. We could not in good conscience publish a book that did not give the reader the complete story. Since it includes detailed information on what Service Pack 1 fixes (and what it doesn't), it will prove to be the most current book on the market. Even if you've bought another Reporting Services book, we're certain that this book will be well worth the price. Report Server Administrators and DBAs align="left">Yes, this book is most especially for you and the developers you support. Reporting Services is a great product, and it gives users a lot of long-sought after powerful functionality. But , and this is a big but, if you as a DBA implement Reporting Services in an insecure way, you might as well post the SA password and your private data on a public newsgroup or display it in Times Square for the world to see. We appreciate that Reporting Services calls for skills that fall outside the hitherto usual skill set of a DBA. Because of this we've gone to great lengths to ensure that we explain the skills you'll need in an easy-to-read but concise way. You see, Reporting Services is a product that also requires IIS skill. Many DBAs are gurus with the Query Analyzer and SQL Profiler. They're used to interrogating poorly coded T-SQL in stored procedures, rhythmically tut-tutting as they see yet more unbelievably clumsy T-SQL programming. However, when it comes to IIS, .NET programming, and SOAP, some DBAs break out in a cold sweat and freeze when developers start talking "OOP". align="left">Well, hey, relax! We'll walk you through all of these dark alleys with a 20,000 candle-power light and an armed escort. Chapter 1 gives you insight into all the components of Reporting Services. Chapter 2 talks you through installing Reporting Services, showing you how to ensure that you choose the right accounts. This way you don't leave a back door open to your databases for all the (evil/curious/adventurous) ASP.NET developers in your organization. It also talks you through how to ensure that the Reporting Services website has an SSL certificate. This is very important. We firmly encourage you to setup Reporting Services with an SSL certificate. If you don't, we are aware of sniffing vulnerabilities that can be targeted to extract credentials as they are passed around the network. During Reporting Services installation, an SSL certificate is required by default and for excellent, important reasons. Microsoft goes to great lengths to encourage you to use SSL--they really want your data to be secure (and so do we). You have to take personal responsibility if you uncheck the SSL checkbox and install without SSL. align="left">Chapter 4 is a good source of information, as most DBAs will be responsible for administering the Report Server. All the features are explained in an incremental way. No, you won't need to write any reports, but a lot goes into the configuration of a Report Server to ensure that correct security is established, and that data source Connection strings are configured correctly. While you might not be that bothered about writing reports, Chapter 5 is also an absolute must read for DBAs. Here we strongly encourage you to switch off Integrated Security on the Report Server so that you can sleep at night. Chapter 5 will give you all the ammunition you need to make sure when you sit in those management meetings and a user is trying to get your boss to force you to switch Integrated Security back on, you'll be able explain the risks. You should also make sure they give you these orders in writing, countersigned by the manager's mother: "Yes, I know my son is a manager with no technical background or understanding whatsoever, but he really does want you to enable Integrated Security. I'll take full responsibility for him. --Mom" align="left">Now, many DBAs have only just taken the lid off Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and to a large extent we have DTS to thank for that. However, there is no VBA for Reporting Services. If you want to do any scripting work, you need to do that with Visual Basic .NET and the report scripting tool called rs.exe. The report scripting tool uses the Report Server's SOAP interface, so you'll also find the magic of Chapter 9 quite helpful. Report Users/Managers align="left">If you see yourself as just a user of reports and already have Reporting Services installed, of most interest to you in this book will be Chapter 1, in which we deal with an overview of the technology, and Chapter 4, in which we go through in detail how to use the Report Manager. Chapter 4 is good to be able to work through in a tutorial style because you'll see most of the functionality of the Report Manager, assuming that your report Administrator has enabled it. And if certain features are not enabled you'll know what privileges you want to petition him or her for. Report Authors align="left">If you want to create reports, in addition to Chapters 1 and 4, where report users should concentrate initially, you'll want to take the tutorial through Chapter 3 where we show you how to use the built-in report wizard. Working through this chapter will give you a grounding before you look at Chapter 5. Chapter 5 is pretty important because it explains the security considerations you need to bear in mind, but to begin to appreciate it you do need a good foundation. As Bill Baker (General Manager of SQL Server Business Intelligence) says in the foreword, it's a great idea to read Chapter 5 more than once. Certainly after you have worked through Chapters 6 and 7 you'll have a greater appreciation for why Chapter 5 is so important, especially if you want to keep your enterprise secure. As you become more proficient you'll want to experiment with charts and Matrix tables--those are covered in Chapter 8. Report Developers align="left">Once you're off the launch pad and feel confident in creating reports, you'll want to start pushing the envelope of what you can do with Reporting Services to make your productivity much better. In Chapter 9, we show you how and where you create report and project templates so that you can bring a consistent look and feel to your reports. We also show you how you can have styles applied to reports at runtime by creating your own .NET assemblies--and indeed we show you all you need to know about code access security as it is implemented in Reporting Ser...
Personal Details
Collection Status In Collection
Purchase Date 10/30/2004
Index 173
Read It Yes
Links Amazon US
Product Details
ISBN 0321268288
Cover Price $49.99
Nr of Pages 784
First Edition No
Rare No