Monday, September 26, 2011

Project ‘Crescent’ - Reporting Services new reporting tool in Denali.

In my previous post (Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM)) I gave some information on Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM), which will be used to 'power' access to the data for the Microsoft Business Intelligence applications such as Excel, Reporting Services (SSRS) and Sharepoint.It is also intended that Project Crescent, the new self-service ad-hoc reporting tool available in SQL Server Denali, will be powered by the BISM.

What’s new Denali for Reporting Services (SSRS)
SharePoint Shared Service
Reporting Services in SharePoint now runs as a SharePoint shared service. Among other benefits, this provides integration with claims authentication and scaling and load-balancing across the SharePoint farm. Furthermore, report viewing performance in SharePoint has been enhanced significantly.

Self Service Alerting
Alerting is a new capability that we are adding to Reporting Services as well. It enables an end-user to setup alert rules and be alerted when report data changes occur that match a set of rules. No changes are required to the existing reports – you can create alerts for any reports created in previous versions of Reporting Services, as soon as upgrade/move to SQL Server Denali in SharePoint integrated mode.

Excel rendering as XLSX, Word rendering as DOCX
These new renderers produce now Open XML Office format and take advantage of some of the new capabilities in Office 2007 and 2010, such as export up to a 1 million rows in Excel. The original renderers for DOC and XLS, which produce binary formats for older Office versions are still available but hidden by default.

BI Development Studio integrated in Visual Studio 2010
Not only did we adopt the Visual Studio 2010 shell for BI Development Studio for report design, but we also rearchitected our integration with Visual Studio in general for RDLC designer and report viewer controls. This will be available with the upcoming next version of Visual Studio and enable much more simultaneous availability of SQL Server Reporting Services functionality in Visual Studio as well.

Project Crescent –
Is the Reporting Services’ new reporting tool targeted at data consumers to visually explore their data and answer ad-hoc questions with ease? 

Architecture Diagram of Project Crescent

Project “Crescent” is a new interactive data exploration and visual presentation experience coming in the next version of SQL Server, code-named “Denali”.  It will offer a fun, visual, and powerful drag-and-drop ad hoc reporting experience.  It is an web-based end-user BI tool based on Silverlight.
Highly Visual design Experience-
·         -Interactive web-Based authoring and sharing of information
·         -Familiar Microsoft office design patters
·         -Powerful data layout with banding, callout & small multiples visualization

Each Crescent report is based on a Power Pivot model that can be created within Excel or Visual Studio 2010.  The models are deployed to SharePoint and from there users can create their reports through the web front end.
Rich metadata-Driven interactivity
·         -Fully integrated with Power Pivot
·         -Drive greater insight through smart & powerful querying
·         -Zero configuration highlighting and filtering
·         -Animated trending and comparisons

It is done all in a browser – there is nothing to deploy.  It is presentation-ready, meaning there is not a design mode.  It is not meant to replace SSRS or Report Builder as those are for creating sophisticated static reports while Crescent is for ad-hoc reports.  It is also not meant to replace PerformancePoint as that is for KPI’s and scorecards.
Presentation -Ready at all times
·         -Interactive Presentation turns pervasive information into persuasive information
·         -deliver and collaborate through SharePoint
·         -Full screen presentation mode for interactive boardroom session


Posted by - SUHAS R. KUDEKAR (MCTS - Microsoft Business Intelligence)
Learning Office 2010 + SharePoint 2010 + SQL Server 2008 R2

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