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We have WSS3 and SQL 2005 only and we have a growing amount of content that users would like to report on. I have been trying to find a reporting tool that meets the following requirements/limitations. We are in an environment without the following: Office on the Server (Not Allowed) Silverlight (Not Allowed or Not Installed) Abilty to use Add-Ins to Office

We would like the ability to: Create reports with charts/graphs and tables Print the reports and schedule them if possible. Dynamic headers and footers required! [Does not appear to be supported in Reporting Services 2005 which we do have]

We can develop webparts or purchase 3rd party webparts possibly. If it runs completely in Sharepoint it would be an option. I am not sure if there are any reporting tools that can do this or that will support printing reports as well!! Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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2 Answers 2

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You could always stand up a SQL Server Reporting Services instance. From within there, you can connect to Sharepoint lists via web services and create reports with the XML data being returned. This would allow you to schedule report execution and deliver daily reports and charts based off of Sharepoint list data.

Reports can be displayed in the browser by way of the Report Explorer and Report Viewer web parts that are bundled with the RS installation.

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Thanks for that, but I should have made it clear that version 2005 of Reporting Services does not support dynamic header/footer information as far as we can tell. We have tried many times to use this tool and it just does not work well for what the users need. I do appreciate the answer though! –  spevilgenius Feb 1 '11 at 17:16
    
What type of dynamic information are you trying to put into the header/footer? You can create expressions to do all sorts of things. –  PirateEric Feb 1 '11 at 17:35
    
We tried doing that to the header/footer and it does not seem to work in the 2005 version. I have heard it does work in the 2008 version. We have a need to classify certain content and this classification has to be in the header/footer of each page. –  spevilgenius Feb 1 '11 at 18:04
    
I don't see how that's an issue. You have control over the report creation. Since you know what reports would have classified info, those would be bucketed together and have the classified header/footer on them. With being able to execute reports via hyperlinks, you can build parameters into the report that come from query string parameters to set a classified/not classified header/footer. –  PirateEric Feb 1 '11 at 18:50
    
There are some vendors that will report on the data like Axceler and Nintex, but it isn't the reporting like you'd want. It's statistical admin type stuff (large files, usage, etc), not reports on list data. SSRS is going to be the best method. –  PirateEric Feb 3 '11 at 13:31

I'm from Enesys Software. In case you would like to go with Reporting Services, we have an Extension for Reporting Services (commercial product) that will let you build sophisticated reports out of your your SharePoint data (joining lists, joining lists and SQL Server tables, aggregating multiple lists in an entire site collection, support for multi-value fields, item versions, folders, ...). You can get more information at http://www.enesyssoftware.com. Please note that our extension will only work with Standard and Enterprise edition of SSRS.

I have read your comments regarding Reporting Services limitations and I'm not sure what you mean exactly. Reporting Services approach to report design (through its Report Definition Language) is very flexible. Much more than most Band Based reporting tools available. Besides stepped and matrix reports, you can build dashboards very easily. Not to say, it is perfect in all ways though. Because we have quite some experience designing reports using Reporting Services, I would be pleased to have a look at some sample report you may need and see if indeed we can't get it to work using Reporting Services.

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Believe it or not, but I have at least attempted to get a trial of your product loaded and tested. I unfortunately had some other projects that "became more important" and my trial expired! Basically, we have SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services and we do have Sharepoint setup in integrated mode and I can create reports. I have tried to add a variable to the header/footer and it tells me that I can not do that. I have verified with other experts on this and they agree with me. Since we could have several different types of classes, we would have to create the same report that many times! –  spevilgenius Feb 2 '11 at 18:19
    
So that is and issue as we need to be able to have a report header that is dynamic based on content that may or may not be present in the report. –  spevilgenius Feb 2 '11 at 18:21
    
You can use an expression within a header. The typical use is to display parameter values. But I'm certainly missing something. Can you possibly clarify? –  user2317 Feb 2 '11 at 19:05
    
I was told you can not do this in the 2005 version and I tried to do it and it specifically states that you can not do it when I try. I was told that you could do it in the 2008 version though –  spevilgenius Feb 2 '11 at 22:27
    
Just to be sure and to fit with Reporting Services terminology, can you confirm we are talking of "Page Header" here? If so, I am completely sure you can use an expression within a textbox. Though we are mostly using BIDS 2008 lately for our own samples, we have customers asking us to build reports using BIDS 2005. Displaying report's parameters values within the page header is what we are doing all the time. Sample expression: ="From " & Parameters!startdate.Value & " To " & Parameters!enddate.Value –  user2317 Feb 2 '11 at 23:25

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