Microsoft seems to have given particular attention to extensibility in Reporting Services. Unlike some competing products, this is a very open architecture. Here are some of the key points where you can customize Reporting Services:
- You can manage a report server via SOAP.
- You can use .NET to create custom rendering components to drop into any report.
- You can export reports as TIFF, PDF, Excel, XML, HTML with Office Web Components, or other useful formats.
- You can create new data processing extensions to allow Reporting Services to draw data from new or unusual sources.
- You can create delivery extensions to allow subscriptions via media other than e-mail and file sharing.
- You can configure a report server through Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) classes.
Overall, Reporting Services provides an extremely flexible way to make data available to end-users. The drawback to this, of course, is that learning to program and extend Reporting Services is not a trivial task. Plan on some significant developer and DBA investment if you decide to implement this tool in your own organization.
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