Key features in SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services editions

Solutions providers can use this chapter excerpt to learn about the components of SQL Server Reporting Services that are available in the various SQL Server 2008 editions.

Key Features of SSRS 2008 Editions

About the book:
This chapter excerpt on Reporting Services Deployment Scenarios (download PDF) is taken from the book Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Unleashed. This book can help solutions providers to use SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services to deliver business intelligence services to customers, learn about new features in SQL Server 2008 R2, manage report data sources and models and more.

At least some components of SSRS are available in almost all editions of SQL Server 2008:
Workgroup, Standard, Enterprise, Developer, and Evaluation.

Whether a customer is a large enterprise or a small company, the key features of Reporting
Services that are always available include the following:

  • Manageability: Reporting Services is easy to deploy and manage. In addition to having a convenient web-based management interface, both deployment and management of Reporting Services can be scripted.
  • Security: Reporting Services keeps corporate data secure. Reports and information are not accessible, unless sufficient privilege is granted to a user.
  • Programmability: Reporting Services allows developing of a custom functionality that can be embedded in a report, called from a report, or scripted.
  • Reporting controls and wizard: Windows and web-based ReportViewer controls are supplied with Visual Studio 2008. Report controls simplify adding reporting functionality to Windows and web-based applications.

Additional features available in the Standard Edition of Reporting Services include the following:

  • Extensibility: Reporting Services allows adding new server functionality. RDL is an XML-based language and is designed to be extensible. SSRS also allows for extending data-processing, data-rendering, and data-delivery extensions with your own custom implementations.

Additional features available in the Enterprise Edition of Reporting Services include the following:

  • Scalability: Reporting Services Enterprise Edition supports large workloads and high volume reporting. Support for web farms in Enterprise Edition allows easy scale out, providing an ability to add extra capacity as needed. In addition, Enterprise Edition scales up, supporting more than two CPUs.
  • Availability: Web farm support of Reporting Services Enterprise Edition paired with the Reporting Services catalog installed on a SQL Server 2008 cluster enables high availability reporting solutions.
  • Data-driven subscriptions: Reporting Services Enterprise Edition allows customers to dynamically change the recipient list, report parameters, and processing options. In contrast, Standard Subscription, available in Standard Edition of Reporting Services, is for a single predefined user and single predefined parameter set.

To help determine the most appropriate version, refer to Table 5.7 to review key features
of SSRS editions.

TABLE 5.7 Key Features by Reporting Services Editions


  Express Workgroup Standard Enterprise
Data sources Local SQL Server instance only SQL Server and Analysis Services Supports all data sources (relational and OLAP)
Rendering formats Excel, PDF, Image (RGDI, Print), HTML, Word Excel, PDF, Image (RGDI, Print), HTML, Word Supports all output formats
Management Report Manager Supports SQL Server Management Studio and Report Manager Yes
Caching No No Supported
History No No Supported
Delivery No No Supported
Scheduling No No Supported
Extensibility No No Can add/remove data sources, renderers, and delivery
Custom authentication No Supported
Scale-out Report Servers No No No Supported
Subscriptions No No Supported
Data-driven subscriptions No No No Supported
Role-based security Cannot modify roles Cannot modify roles Can add roles
Report bulider No Supported
Report models No Supported
Model-level security No Supported
Infinite clickthrough No No No Supported

Developer and Evaluation editions have the same capabilities as the Enterprise Edition of SSRS. However, the Developer Edition is licensed and supported only in the development environment, and the Evaluation Edition expires after 180 days.

About the authors:
Michael Lisin has more than 12 years experience in the software industry with expertise in SQL Server and .NET technologies. Lisin is a regular speaker on SQL Server at various events, including SQL Server PASS and SQL Server User Group meetings.  

Jim Joseph is the co-author of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services and is currently employed by Continental Airlines as a SQL Server DBA.  

Amit Goyal is the lead program manager for Microsoft's Reporting Services team and is a known expert on SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services.


In a "nutshell," a server license (for Workgroup, Standard, or Enterprise editions) is required for every operating system environment on which that edition of SQL Server software or any of its components (for example, Reporting Services) is running.

This means that a company does not have to buy a separate license if SSRS is installed with SQL Server 2005 together on a single computer. For scale-out (web farm) deployments, each web server that runs Report Server must have a SQL Server license.


In this chapter, you learned about various SSRS deployment choices. Deployment choices for SSRS components range from a developer's workstation, in which all SSRS components are installed on a single computer, to an enterprise high-availability and high-performance multiserver web-farm deployment.

This chapter also discussed SSRS deployment options for Internet access, and examined the hardware and software requirements, licensing, and key features of the various SSRS editions.

The next chapter delves into the SSRS installation process.

SQL Server Reporting Services deployment scenarios
  SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services for high-availability deployment 
  SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services for Internet deployment 
  SQL Server 2008 hardware and software requirements
  Key features in SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services editions

Printed with permission from Sams Publishing. Copyright 2009. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Unleashed by Michael Lisin, Jim Joseph and Amit Goyal. For more information about this title and other similar books, please visit Sams Publishing.

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