An analysis of the main new features in SQL Server Reporting Services 2016
Part one of a six-part series of blogs

Microsoft have put a lot of effort into SSRS 2016, including completely rewriting Report Manager (it's now called Web Portal) and creating separate software for publishing reports to mobiles. There are lots of new features to contemplate!

  1. What's new in Reporting Services 2016 (SSRS 2016) (this blog)
  2. SSRS 2016 - the basic user interface for creating reports
  3. Report Manager becomes Reporting Services Web Portal
  4. Mobile Report Publisher in Reporting Services 2016
  5. Report Builder 4 (Report Builder for SSRS 2016)
  6. Other new features in Reporting Services 2016

This is part of a wide-ranging blog explaining the new features in every part of SQL Server 2016.

Posted by Andy Brown on 11 July 2016

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What's new in Reporting Services 2016 (SSRS 2016)

Lots!  Out of all the parts of SQL Server 2016, it's SSRS which has received the most love and attention.  Here's a quick run-down (you can see more details by following the links).

Basic user interface

The most obvious thing which hits you when you create a new report in SSRS is the parameters bar:

Parameters bar

You can use this - to an extent - to reposition parameters.

Aside from this and a couple of new chart types, not that much has changed in the way you create reports in SSRS 2016.

Report Manager morphs into Web Portal

Report Manager was an anachronism: basic, hard to customise and dependent on Internet Explorer.  Reporting Services Web Portal, on the other hand, is cutting edge:

Web portal

Everything about the fantastic new Web Portal is ... new!

Mobile Report Publisher

If you want to publish reports to a mobile phone, there's now a completely separate state-of-the-art application:

Mobile report publisher

You can drag widgets onto a grid pattern to create a responsive website which will work on mobile, tablet or laptop.

 

Report Builder for Reporting Services 2016

Strangely, very little has changed in Report Builder - which is a shame:

Report Builder

It may look a bit different, but Report Builder has the same problems as before.

 

Other new features in SSRS 2016

As well as all of the above new toys, SSRS 2016 now lets you export to PowerPoint, play with R and integrate SSRS reports with Power BI:

PowerPoint format

The format that you've been waiting for? Perhaps not.

 

The final part of this blog summarises these miscellaneous new features.

Verdict

Should you upgrade?  If you spend your entire life building reports in Visual Studio, perhaps not.  However, if you have anything to do with managing or  deploying reports or creating subscriptions, it's a no-brainer!

You should also upgrade if you want to create reports visible on clients' mobile phones, although it's less upgrading and more learning a new software application (Mobile Report Publisher).

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