The Possible Future of Reporting Services

by Dmitry Kirsanov 15. October 2012 06:04

Today, if you’ll visit the MSDN Labs, you won’t find there much about Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. The reason is simple – Microsoft doesn’t consider reporting to be the edge technology. The frontier of changes and fountain of creativity is somewhere else. Usually what you see in there is something that is complex or very important for Microsoft. Neither is a category for reports.

However, I recognize the trend, which is, although relatively distant, could shift the position of Reporting Services and perhaps make it more widespread, potentially adding more jobs to the market.

If you own the iPhone, you know what is Siri. An interactive assistant which queries the internet search engine, finds the required information and presents it as the answer to you question. In real time. I believe, that’s how we will build our reports soon. Basic ones, of course, but nevertheless. They may become answers to your questions.

In a manner similar to Full Text Search, databases could be used using human-friendly semantics. Now, when Windows 8 allows us to “win as one” – that is, when all applications can share data by using so called “contracts”, an interface could be created to get the information by request of either high or low level of abstraction.
Low abstraction layer question would require knowledge of database physical layout, so the query would look like this – “Get average for column Order Total where column State in table Customers contains TX and creation date is within last month”. The higher abstraction would look like “How much money customers from Texas spend on iPhone gadgets in average?”.

Having such functionality, Reporting Services would become more popular, as you wouldn’t require a trained personnel to create basic reports. However, with time you would need more complex reports and that would open opportunities for IT professionals.

For me, there is no question whether it will be implemented or not. The only question is – who will do it first.

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