Chapter 1. Preamble

1. Preamble
Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) describes the ability to jointly analyze all of a company's data, distilling relevant information to be used to foster better business decisions. The foundation of any BI solution is the careful preprocessing of existing data, for example, in a data warehouse.

ReportServer acts as the gateway between end-users and the collected data, allowing users to efficiently access and analyze the available data. From camera-ready evaluations to fine-grained ad-hoc reporting; ReportServer provides you with the tools to support your daily work.

Target Audience

This document is designed for future administrators of ReportServer.

Separate manuals and instructions illustrate the various aspects of ReportServer.

  • ReportServer Configuration Guide: Describes the installation of ReportServer as well as the basic configuration options.
  • ReportServer User Guide: The user guide describes ReportServer from the point of view of the ultimate user. It includes an in-depth coverage of dynamic lists (ReportServer's adhoc reporting solution), execution of reports, scheduling of reports, and much more.
  • ReportServer Administrator Guide: The administrator guide describes ReportServer from the point of view of administrators that are tasked with maintaining the daily operation of the reporting platform including the development of reports, managing users and permissions, monitoring the system state, and much more.
  • ReportServer Scripting Guide: The ReportServer scripting guide covers the scripting capabilities of ReportServer which can be used for building complex reports as well as for extending the functionality of ReportServer or performing critical maintenance tasks. It extends the introduction to these topics given in the administrator guide.

System State

We proceed on the assumption that the basic configuration has been completed as de- scribed in the installation and configuration instructions. All examples given in this book are based on the available demo data.

ReportServer Demo Content

The demo data used in this book are part of the standard delivery scope of ReportServer and can be automatically loaded when starting the system. Additionally we provide a demo content package that preconfigures ReportServer for a fictitious company called "1 to 87". This includes setting up various users including permissions, TeamSpaces where these users have access and can collaborate as well as a number of demo reports.

Loading the demo warehouse.

ReportServer comes with the option to install a demo database, which is the base for the demo report shipped with ReportServer. The demo data will be installed in an internal database (we will later see the significance of this internal database). To load the demo data on startup change the configuration file /etc/datasources/ to include the tag <installdemodata>true</installdemodata>. You will find this configuration file, if you log into ReportServer as root, go to the administration module. For this choose Administration from the module bar at the top of the screen, and then choose File Server from the aspects on the left. Navigate to file /etc/datasources/ in the tree. To change the file choose the tab edit on the bottom. A sample configuration could, for example, look like:

Note that this change will only take effect after a restart of ReportServer.

Loading the demo content.

To install the demo content, log into ReportServer as root.After logging in, press CTRL+ALT+T to open the terminal. The terminal is a powerful tool to administer ReportServer. We will see various use cases for it throughout this manual. Type

pkg list
and confirm the command by pressing enter. You should see

The example content is supplied as a ReportServer package, which is basically a groovy script with some additional files. The pkg list terminal command lists all the available packages. In the example above, there were two packages. The baseconfig package is automatically installed whenever you conduct a fresh install of ReportServer. It installs the default configuration files in the etc directory of ReportServer's internal file server. The demobuilder package contains the example data we are going to install. The precise filename may differ from the one pictured here, depending on your ReportServer version.

Warning, the installation of the demo content, will remove any existing content. To install the example data use the following command:

pkg install -d <packagename>
where packagename denotes the name of the package as returned by the pkg list command. Note that you don't actually have to type the whole name, but can only enter the first few characters and press the tab-key to have ReportServer autocomplete the filename for you. After you issued the pkg install command ReportServer unzips and installs the example data. This might take a minute or two, but after a while you will be presented with the ok-confirmation. If you reload your browser you can now use the example data.