I have been to two different presentations on SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services enhancements over the past month or so. In both of those presentations, the presenter said just about these exact words: “Now, you can view a report’s properties without having to run it first.”
I decided to check Microsoft.com to see if official content said the same type of thing. Sure enough, the Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 eBook has the following on page 185:
“Rather than requiring you to open a report first and then navigate to the properties pages,
Report Manager gives you direct access to the report properties from a menu on the report
All three sources are indicating that in versions of SSRS prior to SQL 2008 R2, you have to open/run a report before you can get to its properties in Report Manager. However, not only is it possible to view report properties in 2005 or 2008 Report Manger without running the report first, it is very easy.
Here is my Report Manager for my SQL 2008 instance (2005 is essentially identical).
Notice the “Show Details” button in the red rectangle to the right in the image above. Give that a click and your Report Manager will change to the figure below.
Click the Properties button shown in the red rectangle to the left of the report in the image above. That will open up the properties of the report. No need to run it first.
Don’t get me wrong, the new Report Manager interface in SQL 2008 R2 is a great improvement with its Sharepoint style drop down lists. I just felt the need to point out that being able to view a report’s properties without running it first is not a “new” feature of SSRS in SQL 2008 R2. You can do it today.