SQL Server 2008 R2 was an exciting release for Reporting Services. It gave us features such as:
– Shared Data Sets
– Report Parts
– New Visualization, including spatial visualizations

There’s are also significant changes and new features to SSRS 2012 – but a some of these can only be materialized if you are using SSRS 2012 integrated in SharePoint 2010. Nonetheless these are still pretty exciting changes, and can change the landscape of reporting for our end users (read: more Self Service BI):

Self-Service Alert

– Users can now choose to subscribe to alerts if anything in a report changes
– When you run the report, you can click on Actions > New Data Alert
– One thing to keep in mind, you can technically have an “almost” real time alert, but try to refrain from doing this. If you choose to check every minute, the service will technically attempt to run the report every minute and check if the values you have chosen in your rules have changed/been met.

Export capabilities

– Can now export to .docx and .xlsx
– Removed 65K export limitation in Excel, can now export to an upwards of 1M records!

Power View

– Has been dubbed as the thin, ad-hoc, interactive reporting tool for Self Service BI
– Is web-enabled and web-based
– Can be integrated with PowerPivot
– Lives on top of SharePoint 2010 Enterprise; requires SQL Server 2012 Enterprise or BI
– It is cross-browser compatible (say Firefox? Safari on Mac?) – definitely a huge plus for users!

PowerView has got to be one of my favorites so far. I can see so much potential. I’m even presenting it at the upcoming Vancouver Techfest in April 28, 2012 – called “PowerView: A First Look”

Of course it’s not all roses, the main challenge I can see here is its reliance on SharePoint Enterprise. For smaller to medium-sized companies, it will be a hard sell to get or upgrade to SharePoint 2010 Enterprise. For companies who already have SP2010 Ent, it will be a big bonus.

Wanna learn more PowerView? Check out:
Microsoft Virtual Academy: Breakthrough Insights using SQL Server 2012 : Reporting Services and Visualization (Module 4) – Using Power View by Sean Boon (blog | twitter)

Also check out:
Microsoft Virtual Academy – Breakthrough Insights using Microsoft SQL Server 2012 – Reporting Services

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