How to Streamline Reports with SharePoint 2010
Reports come in all sizes, shapes, and formats. By putting together a couple of SharePoint 2010 system components, a developer can help simplify a business’s reporting processes for everyone in the organization, whether users need to create or review reports:
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) provides a platform for reporting that’s tightly integrated with the SharePoint platform.
SharePoint itself provides end users with a report-development tool — Report Builder — that they can launch right from the SharePoint portal.
Reports can be stored and viewed at the appropriate time from the SharePoint portal — in the browser.
Consolidating the reporting function to SharePoint provides one central place that all users can go to access, read, develop, or deposit reports. It’s a self-service approach, and probably the wave of the future: No longer does a report have to morph into a little project with its own complex development cycles; business analysts and technically adept report developers need no longer strain to translate each other’s jargon.
Empowering the users who have the knowledge saves money by reducing project expense. When the business users are empowered with tools that the IT department can govern, it’s win-win for both teams and a cost reduction for the company.
SharePoint provides self-serve reporting not only through Report Builder but also through content management features: Users can check reports in and out, rest assured that there’s only one version they have to deal with; see the report as an expected task in a workflow; and restrict access to the report to keep it secure. The whole process is more coherent from stem to stern.