Top 20 SSRS Interview Questions & Answers
1) Mention what is SSRS?
SSRS or SQL Server Reporting Services is a server-based reporting platform that gives detailed reporting functionality for a variety of data sources. Reporting services include a complete set of tools to manage, create and deliver reports and APIs that allows developers to synchronize data and report process in custom application.
2) Mention what are the important architecture components of SSRS?
Important architecture components of SSRS includes
- Report Manager
- Report Designer
- Browser types supported by reporting services
- Report Server
- Report Server and Command line utilities
- Report Server Database
- Data Sources
3) Explain what data regions are and what are the different data regions?
Data regions are report items that show repeated rows of summarized information from datasets.
Different data regions include
4) Explain what are the different stages of Report Processing?
Different stages of Report Processing includes
- Compile: It analyze expressions in the report definitions and save the compiled intermediate format internally on the server
- Process: It run dataset queries and combine intermediate format with data and layout
- Render: It sends processed report to a rendering extension to tell how much information fits on each page and create the page report
- Export: It exports the reports to a different file format
5) 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
These are the new features included, apart from these, if you are using SSR on SharePoint it gives additional benefits like drag and drop ad hoc reporting and sending e-mails when data changes.
6) Explain what is a sub-report?
Sub-report are inserted into the main part, just like a main report, you also pass queries and parameters to it. In other words, a sub-report can be considered as an extension to your main report, however it consists of an alternate data set. For example, you can prepare a report of customers and then use a sub-report to show a list of orders for each customer.
7) List out what other servers you can use with SSRS?
Most of the times companies use SQL server with SSRS, but there are other servers you can integrate
- ODBC and OLEDB
- Flat XML files
8) Mention what are the core components of SSRS?
The core components of SSRS includes
- A set of tool to View, Create and Manage report
- A report server component that hosts and processes reports in a different formats like PDF, HTML, Excel, CSV,
- An API, which enables developers to integrate with custom applications or to create custom tools to manage or build reports
9) Mention what are the different types of SSRS reports?
The different types of reports include
- Parameterized reports
- Snapshot reports
- Cached reports
- Clickthrough reports
- Drilldown reports
- Drillthrough reports
- Linked reports
- Ad-hoc reports
10) Name some of the open source software that you can use in alternative to SSR?
Some of the open source software alternative are
- Jasper Reports
- JFree Report
- BIRT (Business Intelligence Reporting Tool)
- DataVision and so on
11) Mention what are the reporting service components in SSRS?
The reporting service components in SSRS includes.
- Report Designer: It is a place where the report is created or designed
- Report Server: It provides services for delivery of reports and for implementations
- Report Manager: A web based administration tool to manage the report server
12) Explain can you implement data mining in SSRS?
Yes, it is possible to implement data mining in SSRS by using DMX designer to create data mining queries for SSRS reports.
13) Explain how you can configure a running aggregate in SSRS?
To configure a running aggregate in SSRS, you can use the Running Value function.
14) Mention what is the main function of a query parameter?
The main function of a query parameter is to filter data in the data source.
15) Explain can SSRS reports Cache results?
Caching reports enables users to access and view reports much faster. SSRS does allow Cache reports on reporting server.
16) Mention what are the three command line utilities and what are their primary functions?
The three command line utilities include
- RsConfig.exe: It is used to determine the connection properties from the SSRS instance to the Report Server database
- RsKeyMgmet.exe: It executes scale out deployment set-up and encryption key operations
- Rs.exe: It executes Report server Script files which can perform management operations and report deployment
17) Explain how you can deploy an SSRS report?
SSRS report can be deployed in three ways
- By Visual Studio: You can directly deploy the report in Visual Studios through solution explorer, by declaring the report server URL in project properties at Target Server URL.
- By Report Server: By browsing the report from the disk location of the server you can deploy the report to report server
- By creating the Utility: Another option is to create customized utility to deploy the report
18) Mention what method you can use to reduce the overhead of Reporting Services data sources?
Cached reports and Snapshots can be used to reduce the overhead of Reporting Services Sources.
19) Explain what is the difference between Tabular and Matrix report?
- Tabular Report: Tabular report is the most basic type of report. Each column relates to a column chosen from the database
- Matrix Report: A matrix report is a cross-tabulation of four groups of data.
20) Explain how would you store your query in an SSRS report or a Database server?
Storing SQL queries directly in text format in the data should be avoided. Instead, it should be stored in a stored procedure in the database server. The advantage is that the SQL would be in a compiled format in an SP and gives all the benefits of SP compared to using an ad-hoc query from the report.