SSRS Interview Questions and Answers

Q1. What is SSRS?

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a server-based report generating software system from Microsoft. It is part of suite of Microsoft SQL Server services, including SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services) and SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services).

Q2. What is Reporting Services?
SQL Server’s Reporting services offer a variety of interactive and printed reports managed by a web interface. Reporting services is a server based environment.

Q3. How does the report manager work in SSRS?
Report manager is a web application. In SSRS it is accessed by a URL. The interface of this Report manager depends on the permissions of the user. This means to access any functionality or perform any task, the user must be assigned a role. A user with a role of full permissions can entire all the features and menus of the report. To configure the report manager, a URL needs to be defined.

Q4. Mention what are the new features in SSRS?
New features in SSRS includes

  • Excel File Export: The files can be exported into Excel file formats, earlier only XLS files were only exported
  • Data Alerts: The new data alerts allow to create alert threshold which are evaluated on a user defined schedule, also there is data alert manager for alerting administrators
  • Power View: With the new RDLX file format, power view is a new interactive Business Intelligence feature

Q5. Explain SSRS Architecture?
Reporting services architecture comprises of integrated components. It is a multi-tiered, included with application, server and data layers. This architecture is scalable and modular. A single installation can be used across multiple computers. It includes the following components: –
Report Manager , Reporting Designer, Browser Types Supported by Reporting services, Report server, Report server command line utilities, Report Server Database, Reporting Services Extensibility, Data sources that is supported by Reporting Services.

Q6.Explain Reporting Life Cycle?
Reporting Services has mainly three phases:

Development of Reports (Developer) – First of all a report needs to be design which is primarily done by report developer

Management of Reports (DBA) – Once the Report is being developed, DBA need to ensure

Security – Only authorized user should access the report

Execution – How the report will be executed to optimize data sources performance

 Scheduling of reports – so that report are executed on scheduled timings

Report Delivery (DBA + Developer) – Once the report is being developed and executed now the report should be reached to final recipients (business users) who are going to understand / analyze report data. if any changes, we again go back to development stage.

Q7. What are the three different part of RDL file explain them?
In visual studio RDL files has three parts.
1. Data: It contains the dataset on which we write the query. Data set is connected with data source.
2. Design: In design you can design report. Can create tables and matrix reports. Drag columns values from source.
3. Preview: to check the preview after the report run.

Q8. Which language rdl files made of?
RDL files are written in XML.

Q9. Can you edit the .rdl code associated with a linked report?
No, because a linked report has no .rdl code of its own. It refers to the .rdl code of the base report

Q10. What is report rendering ?
Exporting a report data with design o different type of file types is knows as Report rending. SQL Server Reporting Services supports multiple rendering extensions like Word, Excel, CSV, PDF, HTML etc.

Q11. What are the Reporting Services components?
Reporting services components assist in development. These processing components include some tools that are used to create, manage and view reports.
1. Report Designer is used to create the reports.
2. Report Sever is used to execute and distribute reports.
3. Report Manager is used to manage the report server.

Q12. SQL Server Reporting Services vs. Crystal Reports.
Crystal reports are processed by IIS while SSRS have a report server. Caching in Crystal reports is available through cache server. On the other hand, caching in SSRS is available for Report history snapshots. Crystal reports have standards and user defined field labels. SSRS allows only user defined field labels.

Q13. How does the report manager work in SSRS?
Report manager is a web application. In SSRS it is accessed by a URL. The interface of this Report manager depends on the permissions of the user. This means to access any functionality or perform any task, the user must be assigned a role. A user with a role of full permissions can entire all the features and menus of the report. To configure the report manager, a URL needs to be defined.

Q14. What are different types of roles provided by SSRS?

  • Browsers
  • Content Manager
  • My Reports
  • Publishers
  • Report Builder

Q15. What are the different types of data sources in SSRS?
SSRS use different data source. Some of them are listed below.
1. Microsoft SQL Server
2. OLEDB
3. Oracle
4. ODBC
5. SQL Server Analysis Service
6. Report Server Model
7. SAP Net weaver BI
8. Hyperion
9. Teradata
10. XML

Q16. Name and Describe few console utilities for SSRS?
RSConfig.exe: Configuration of connection properties between the Report Server to the repository database.
RSKeyMgmt.exe: Management of encryption keys via command-line
RS.exe: Utility used for deploying the report on report server

Q17. What are the drawbacks of reporting in SSRS?
For many years, Microsoft had no direct solution for reporting with the SQL Server besides Crystal Reports. Now, they have SQL Server Reporting Services, but it does have several drawbacks. It is still complex to understand the complete functionality and structure of this new component, and many users are still relying on the reporting application they are more familiar with, which is Crystal Reports. Also, components in SSRS like Report Builder and Report Designer are meant for different users for different aspects of the report process, yet complete understanding and exposure to both is important to utilize both functions fully and extensively. There are also issues when exporting very large reports to Microsoft Excel, as it can lead to a loss of data.

Q18. How can I add Reporting Services reports to my application?
Visual Studio / SSDT / BI Data Tools (Standard and Enterprise editions) contains a set of freely redistributable Report Viewer controls that make it easy to embed Reporting Services functionality into custom applications. Two versions of the Report Viewer exist, one for rich Windows client applications and one for ASP.NET applications.

Q19. Do I need a report server to run reports in my application?
In addition to publishing reports to a report server, you can build reports using the Report Designer that is directly integrated with Visual Studio language projects. You can embed reports directly in any Windows Forms or ASP.NET Web application without access to a report server. The data access in embedded reports is a natural extension of the Visual Studio data facilities. Not only can you use traditional databases as a source of data for your reports, you can use object collections as well.

Q20. What is the name of reporting services config file and what’s it’s used for?
Reporting service config file is used for report configuration details. It contains the report format and also the report import types. Report service config reside at ISS.

Q21. What are Advantages of SSRS or why we should use SSRS?
The SQL Server Reporting Services or SSRS has some Advantages
1. It is faster and cheaper
2. Efficient reporting access to information residing in both Oracle and MS SQL Server databases
3. No need for expensive specialist skills
4. The default report designer is integrated with Visual Studio .NET so that we can create application and its reports in the same environmen
5. The security is managed in a role-based manner and can be applied to folders as well as reports
6. Once parameters are defined, the UI for these parameters is automatically generated
Subscription based reports are automatically sent by mail to the users

Q22. What is Query parameter in SSRS?
Query parameters is mentioned in the query of the datasources that are to be included into the SQL script’s WHERE clause of the SQL that can accept parameters. Query parameters begin with the symbol @.The name should not contain spaces and can not begin with numeral. For clarity, we use only letters.

Q23. What is a matrix in SSRS?
A matrix is a data region linked to a report set. Matrix allows us to create crosstab reports with the report variables displaying on rows and columns. It allows us to drag and drop fields into it.

Q24. What are sub reports and how to create them?
A sub report is like any other reports which can be called in main report and can be generate through main report. Parameters can be passed from main report to sub report and basis of that report can be generated.

Q25. What are the Export Options of SSRS?
SSRS allow many ways of rendering the reports:
1. HTML (MHTML)
2. Excel
3. Acrobat
4. Tiff (image)
5. XML
6. CSV

Q26. What is report snapshot?
Snapshot means a instance of a report for future reference, that means a copy of report (data is freezed) will be saved on a report server for future reference.

Q27. What are Data Driven Subscriptions?
Reporting Services provides data-driven subscriptions so that you can customize the distribution of a report based on dynamic subscriber data. Data-driven subscriptions are intended for the following kinds of scenarios: Distributing reports to a large recipient pool whose membership may change from one distribution to the next. For example distribute a monthly report to all current customers. Distributing reports to a specific group of recipients based on predefined criteria. For example send a sales performance report to the top ten sales managers in an organization.

Q28. What are data regions?
Data regions are report items that display repeated rows of summarized information from datasets.

Q29. You want to generate a report that is formatted as a chart. Can you use the Report Wizard to create such a report?
No, the Report Wizard lets you create only tabular and matrix reports. you must create the chart report directly by using the Report Designer.

Q30. When to Use Null Data driven Subscription?
Create a data-driven subscription that uses the Null Delivery Provider. When you specify the Null Delivery Provider as the method of delivery in the subscription, the report server targets the report server database as the delivery destination and uses a specialized rendering extension called the null rendering extension. In contrast with other delivery extensions, the Null Delivery Provider does not have delivery settings that you can configure through a subscription definition.

Q31. What is the chart in report?
Chart reports are for graphical representation. You can get pie charts columns harts and various other options. 3d charts are also available in reporting services.

Q32. What are the limitations/drawbacks or SSRS 2008 R2?
The SSRS 2008 R2 has some limitations. Some limitations are given below:
1. There is no print button. In order to print need to export excel, PDF or others format
2. It is very hard to debug expression or custom code
3. Its does not use page number or total pages in report body
4. Don’t support rounding rectangle
5. There is no way to pass values from sub-reports to main report
6. It is not possible to insert a sub-report into the page header or page footer
7. Page header creates extra spaces in the next pages

Q33. How to fine-tune Reports?
To tune-up the Reporting Services, follow the below mentioned ways: – Expand the Server or utilizing the reporting services of another database server. For better embedding of report contents, report application’s logic and characteristics can have a duplicate copy of data. – Replication of data continuously. Using (nolock), the issues of locking can well be resolved and the performance of the query can be improved. This can be done by using dirty read at the time of duplicating the data is unavailable.

Q34. What new data source types were added in SSRS 2014?
In addition to the data source types available in SSRS (SQL Server, Oracle, ODBC, OLE DB), the following have been added in SSRS 2012: SQL Server Analysis Services SQL Server Integration Services SQL Server Report Builder Models XML (through URL and Web services)

Q35. Name few Endpoints exposed by SSRS 2012?
1. Management Endpoints
2. Execution Endpoint
3. SharePoint Proxy Endpoints

Q36. What are the new features are introduced in SQL Server 2012 reporting services?
1. Power View – interactive data exploration
2. SQL Server 2012 is fully integrated with SharePoint
3. Introduction to Data Alerts, data alerts are a data-driven alerting solution that informs you about changes in report data that are of interest to you, and at a relevant time
4. SQL Server Data tool
5. New rendering extensions supports MS Office 2010
6. Project Crescent is being introduced

Q37. User wants only to display only PDF as export option in report Manager. How to achieve this?
You need to edit RsReportServer.Config file to limit the exporting extensions to only PDF.
You can find the file under;
%Program Files%Microsoft SQL ServerMSRS10.Reporting ServicesReportServer

Q38. Can you import Microsoft Excel data to SSRS?
Reporting Services does not import data. It only queries data in whatever format it is stored in their native storage system. I will assume that you’re asking whether you can create reports and use Excel spreadsheets as data sources. The answer is Yes, Reporting Services supports a wide variety of data sources, including Excel files. You’ll get the best performance with the built-in native .NET providers but you should be able to connect to any ODBC or OLE-DB data source, whether it comes from Microsoft or a third-party company.

Q39. Is SSRS support other database except MS SQL Server?
Yes. SSRS can be building based on relational or multidimensional data source like Oracle, OLEDB. ODBC etc

Q40. How to add the custom code in Report?
To add the custom codes in report go to report tab on top then properties and there you will find the options for custom code.

 

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