With Reporting Services, we can create following types of reports:
- Parameterized reports
- Linked reports
- Snapshot reports
- Cached reports
- Ad hoc reports
- Drilldown reports
- Drillthrough reports
Linked reports: A linked report is a report that provides an access to an existing report. It is similar to a hiperlink that we use to open a page. A linked report is derived from an existing report and retains the original report definition. We can create a linked report on the report server when we want to create additional versions of an existing report. We can create linked reports whenever we want to deploy an existing report with different settings.
Snapshot reports: A snapshot report contains query results that were retrieved at a specific time. Unlike on-demand reports, which get up-to-date query results when we run the report, snapshots reports are processed on a schedule and then saved to Report Server. When we select a report snapshot to view, Report Server retrieves the stored report from the report server database and shows the data and layout that were captured for the report at the time the snapshot was created.
Report snapshots serve three purposes:
- Report history - by creating a series of report snapshots, we can build a history of a report that shows data changes over time.
- Consistency - use report snapshots when you want to provide consistent results for multiple users who must work with identical sets of data. With volatile data, an on-demand report can produce different results from one minute to the next.
- Performance - by scheduling large reports to run during off-peak hours, we can reduce processing impact on the Report Server during core business hours.
Ad hoc reports: An ad hoc report can be created from an existing Report Model using Report Builder. Ad hoc reports refer specifically to Report Builder reports. Ad hoc reports leverage report models and pre-defined templates to enable information workers to quickly and easily explore business data using familiar terminology and data structures that have been implemented in the report model. Ad hoc reports can be saved and run locally or published to a report server, just like other Reporting Services reports.
Drilldown reports: Drilldown reports initially hide complexity and enable the user to toggle conditionally hidden report items to control how much detail data they want to see. Best example of Drilldown report is Sale information for the Year, then drill down for Quarters followed by Months and week. Other example is Sale by Region then drilldown by Countries followed by State and Cities.
Drillthrough reports: Drillthrough reports are standard reports that are accessed through a hyperlink on a report item in the original report. Drillthrough reports work with a main report and are the target of a drillthrough action for a report item such as placeholder text or a chart. The main report displays summary information, for example in a matrix or chart. Actions defined in the matrix or chart provide drillthrough links to reports that display greater details based on the aggregate in the main report. Drillthrough reports can be filtered by parameters.
Subreports: A subreport displays another report inside the body of a main report. A subreport is used to embed a report within another report. Any report can be used as a subreport. The subreport can use different data sources than the main report. We can set up the parent report to pass parameters to the subreport. Although a subreport can be repeated within data regions using a parameter to filter data in each instance of the subreport, subreports are typically used with a main report as a briefing book or as a container for a collection of related reports.