Top 50 SSRS Interview Questions and Answers

If you are preparing to take an interview for an SSRS Developer role but are not sure about the top SSRS interview questions, then you are at the right place. In this blog, we give you the top most asked SSRS interview questions for both freshers and experienced roles with appropriate answers to them. Scroll along to strengthen your preparation with these SSRS interview questions.

Table of Contents

1). What is meant by SSRS? Explain its features.

 SQL Server Reporting Service is a server-based tool that generates reports from Microsoft. It can prepare and deliver a varied range of printed reports and is administered via a web-based interface. It can be thought of as business intelligence software. 

Given below are the features of SSRS:

  1. Can create highly interactive Microsoft reports
  2. Utilizes a web-based interface to administer the reports
  3. Delivers customized reports according to its requirements
  4. You can create graphics-rich reports such as charts, graphs, etc.
  5. Can generate reports in several formats such as PDF, Word, Excel, etc.
  6. SSRS is cheaper, secure, and quick.

2. What is meant by SSRS reports Cache results?

The SSRS Reports Cache results allow users to access and view reports quicker. These are based on the format of the SSRS report and the cache reports are allowed on the reporting server. There is an in-built caching capability too. But usually, the server only caches for a single instance of the SSRS report.

3. Name the different types of reports you can create using the features of SSRS.

 Here are all the different types of reports you can create using SSRS:

  1. Parameterized reports
  2. Snapshot reports
  3. Click through reports
  4. Cached reports
  5. Drill down and drill through reports
  6. Subreports
  7. Ad-hoc reports
  8. Linked reports

4). What are the shortcomings of the SSRS reporting framework?

SSRS has the following drawbacks:

  1. The structure and functionality of newly added components are difficult to understand
  2. A lot of users are comfortable with some other reporting tool and don’t wish to switch to any other reporting tool
  3. In the case of massive reporting, there might be a cause of data loss.

5. What are the different stages of Report Processing?

All the different stages of Report Processing are:

  1. Compile: Analyzes expressions in the SSRS report definitions and saves the compiled format on the server internally
  2. Process: Runs the dataset queries and combines the intermediate format with data and layout.
  3. Render: Sends the processed report to a rendering extension that gives the amount of information that fits on every page. Also, generates the page report
  4. Export: Exports reports to different file formats.

6). Name some console utilities in SSRS.

Some of the console utilities in SSRS are RSConfig.exe, RSKeyMgmt.exe, and RS.exe.

7. How To Create An SSRS Report?

 First, you need to create data sources. One or more datasets are needed for parameters and for making up the report’s body. Next, add all the necessary controls from the toolbox. This will make it a container for datasets. Then, format the controls that have been added to the body of the SSRS report. Lastly, verify and validate to deploy the SSRS report.

8. How to reduce the overhead of reporting service data reports?

 We can use cached reports along with snapshot methods to reduce the overhead of reporting service data reports.

9). What are the different parts of the RDL file?

Given below are the different parts of the RDL file:

  1. Data: This contains the dataset used for writing queries and is always well-connected to the data source
  2. Design: This part allows you to design the report in a table or matrix format. You just need to drag and drop the information you wish to use.
  3. Preview: It is required for checking the preview of a report after executing the run command.
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10. Explain the differences between Tabular and Matrix report

A tabular report is a basic SSRS report type where every column is picked from the database. On the other hand, the matrix report has a cross-tabulation format and is used in four groups of data.

11. Which data type is used to create Radio Button Parameter Type in SSRS Report?

You need to use the boolean data type while creating the Radio Button. If you are using the bit-type column to add a query to your report, go to Parameter properties. Then, change the data type to boolean else a text box will come up for the parameter value.

12. Which programming language is used to create RDL files?

RDL is an extension for XML applications and is used for SSRS reporting. These are written in XML (Extensible Markup Language).

13. What is the simplest way to provide values for a parameter in a report that has a month name as its parameter?

If the set of month names is fixed as the parameter, that means it won’t change in the report. Now, we can add the month names as static values. However, if the values of the parameters keep changing, then it’s better to add them in a table format. Then, use queries to use them as parameters for the SSRS report. These practices will help you add or remove any values from the report and not make changes all the time. Simply add or remove values in the reports that can be collected by the query. 

14. What are the significant highlights of SSRS?

Here are all the noteworthy highlights of SSRS:

  • The generated reports are worked on via social, Excel, XML, or other multi-dimensional sources. These can also recuperate information from ODBC and OLE DB association suppliers.
  • You can make reports in different structure styles like freestyle, even, graphical, and diagrams and framework structure.
  • It also has online highlights that anybody can collaborate with the report server on the web. Also, you can check the reports in electronic applications.
  • You can make any number of impromptu SSRS reports by making use of illustrations, pictures, or any outer substance and display them on a server
  • All the SSRS reports can be sent out in different formats such as XML, CSV, TIFF, PDF, Excel, and HTML.
  • It also gives you the choice to buy in reports for the client’s letter drop, portable and shared region
  • SSRS can underpin the SOAP, i.e. the Simple Object Access Protocol

15). Is it possible to edit the RDL code that is associated with the linked report?

No, it’s not possible to edit the RDL code associated with the linked report because the linked report won’t have its own RDL code.

16. What are the benefits of using the services of SSRS?

Given below are all the benefits that you can avail of by using the SSRS services of Microsoft:

  • SSRS allows cross trading reports in various organizations and so it is very simple to examine additional reports with several document groups.
  • Preparing conclusive reports becomes quicker on SSRS with multidimensional information
  • Delivering data to business associations is faster and provides better choices.
  • Besides being faster, SSRS is also cheaper
  • You don’t need to be a specialist to work on SSRS
  • The default report designer is integrated with Visual Studio.net. This will allow you to build the reports and application in the same place.
  • The security of SSRS is role-based and can be applied to both folders and reports
  • The subscription-based reports are sent automatically to users.
  • Reports are produced faster on both relational and cube data
  • Real-time  information is provided to the business. So, you get better decision support.

17. How do you add a Calendar Parameter to an SSRS Report?

Step 1. Create a new parameter by the name of StartDate and change its name to DATE/TIME

Step 2. Select the default value and use the expression ‘:=’ Today if you want to set the current date as the default value.

Step 3. Don’t specify values in the Available Values section. It should be kept as a No Default value.

These steps will help you set your date parameter and enable the user with Calendar control if the report is run on the server.

18). What are the different data sources in SSRS?

The different data sources in SSRS are Oracle, ODBC, SQL server analysis service, etc. It also uses XML, Report Server Model, SAP, Microsoft SQL Server among other sources.

19. Describe the various types of Reporting Life Cycles available in the SSRS domain.

The SSRS environment consists of three phases in the reporting lifecycle. These are:

  • Report Development: This phase of report generation consists of structured reports that are created by report designers.
  • Report Management: This phase requires the user to confirm and ensure the DBA, i.e. Database Administrator. The following points are confirmed in this step:
    1. The information source execution is optimized while executing the report.
    2. Maintaining the planning of SSRS reports
    3. Only approved clients can reach the reports
  • Report Delivery: This phase assures you that the generated and executed reports would reach the business clients. If any alterations are to be made in the reports, they will return to the improvement stage for making rectifications.

20. How would you create a Sequence Number for every record in the SSRS Report?

You can generate a sequence number for your SSRS records by using the row number. This can be done using a new blank column to the Tablix and clicking on the cell pivoted to expressions to write expressions.

21. What is meant by the report rendering feature of SSRS?

Report rendering refers to exporting any report data in any format. There are several report rendering techniques supported by SSRS like Word, CSV, Excel, HTML, and so on.

22. If you have extracted data from two datasets in an SSRS report, how will you display data on a single Tablix by joining them to form a single column?

You can use the ‘Lookup Function’ of the SQL server to display data on a single Tablix. This will find the corresponding values in a dataset that contains unique values and join the data of two datasets. Remember that there should be at least one matching column while joining the datasets. Given below is the syntax of the Lookup function that you need to use:

LookupSet(source_expression, destination_expression, result_expression, dataset)

23. Explain the different types of SSRS command prompt utilities.

SSRS comes with various command prompt utilities that you can use as a developer to direct a report server. Here is a list of all the SSRS command prompt utilities:

  • RSS Utility: This utility uses a command file called RS.exe. You can use RSS Utility if you wish to play out something scripted or to send some reports on the report server.
  • Powershell cmdlets: This is meant to interact with CLI in Powershell. It will support the SharePoint modes only and install SSRS service and proxy servers to manage SSRS applications. The CMDlets are important if you want to interact with CLI. Most of them are written in C and have functions returning a .NET object. Given below are the most used cmdlets in Powershell:
    1. Get-Command
    2. Get-Member
    3. Get-Help
    4. Get-Process
  • Rsconfig utility: The command file used for this is ‘rsconfig.exe’. It supports only the Native improvement mode. It is used to execute scripted operations like publishing reports, creating items in report server databases, and creating connections between the report server and the report server database.
  • RsKeymgmt utility: The command used for this utility is ‘rskeymgmt.exe’. It is a type of encryption key management tool used for database recovery operations. It is supported in the Native development mode only. Moreover, it is used to back up, reproduce, apply, and erase the symmetric keys.
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24). Why would anybody choose to use SSRS for their next project?

There are several advantages of using SSRS and not any other report-making platforms. The points given below will tell you why someone should switch to using SSRS for their next project:

  • It is cheaper and faster than other reporting services
  • It generates effective reports that have data stored in Oracle, MS SQL Server, or both.
  • You don’t need any special skills or training to use SSRS
  • You can quickly integrate it with Visual Studio.net if you wish to create reports in that environment
  • The developers need to define the parameters only once and the UI will get created automatically as required.
  • SSRS also has security mechanisms defined as per different roles.

25. What is meant by sub-report in SSRS?

In SSRS, sub-reports can be thought of as augmentations to the principal report but they do contain different data collection. For example, if you have a report of clients, you can generate a subreport that shows all the requests for each client. SSRS has subreports embedded in the primary part just like the principal report. But, you need to pass additional inquiries and parameters in this. 

26. Where will you store your query: in an SSRS Report or on a database server? Explain your choice.

Since storing SQL queries in text format is not considered a good practice anymore, you should avoid that. Rather, the queries are better stored in a certain stored procedure in a database server. This would be beneficial because the SQL would be kept in a compiled format in the SP and you would enjoy all the advantages of using SP.

27). What are the drawbacks of the previous version SSRS 2008 R2?

The previous version of SSRS, namely SSRS 2008 R2 had the following drawbacks:

  • It didn’t have a print button so you wouldn’t be able to have printouts of PDFs and Excel files.
  • Debugging a custom code was not possible in the previous version
  • The page numbers were not assigned to the entire body of the content
  • Users weren’t allowed to pass values from the sub-report to the main report
  • The sub-reports could not be added to the headers and footers.
  • The page header would generate an extra space on the next page.

28. Explain how to add the desired chart to a report generated in the SSRS environment.

Step 1. Run a graph wizard for adding a diagram information locale to the report. This wizard will offer you a line, segment, pie, region, and bar diagrams.

Step 2. You can drag the reports to the current dataset fields for numeric and non-numeric information to the Chart Datasheet. 

Step 3. Choose the desired chart option to speak to the 3 zones of the Chart Datasheet that are Series Groups, Category Groups, and Values.

29). What are the minimum software requirements to install and use the SSRS framework?

Given below are the minimum software requirements for the SSRS framework:

  • Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003 (Standard or Enterprise edition with service pack 4 or higher)
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 2 or higher
  • Hard Disk Requirements: At least 50 MB for report server, 100MB or more for DOTNET framework, 30 MB for report designer, and 145 MB for samples.
  • RAM Requirements: 256 MB or more as needed
  • Database: SQL server 2000 with at least 3 pack service pack or higher

30. What is the function of a query Parameter?

A query parameter’s primary function is to filter data in the data source. 

31. Briefly describe the SSRS architecture.

The SSRS architecture is very modular and scalable. It is a multi-tiered system and consists of applications, servers, and several data layers. A single installed program can be used in several systems. Given below are all the important components of SSRS:

  1. Reporting Manager
  2. Reporting Designer
  3. Different browser types supported by reported services
  4. Reporting server
  5. Command Line Outlets
  6. Reports Server Database
  7. Data sources

32. What is the function of a multi-value parameter in an SSRS Report?

The multi-value parameter allows users to enter and then pass multiple queries for the parameter in the SSRS report. Parameters are utilized to filter the data in the report to extract useful information. In the case of multi-valued parameters, you can choose to enter static values or fetch values from the databases. 

33. What are the cons of using SQL Server Reporting Services?

Given below are the drawbacks of using SQL Server Reporting Services:

  • To work with SSRS, you need to learn SQL code but that is not feasible for normal business clients.
  • SSRS will utilize many assets in the server when you run a large report with huge sets of information.
  • SSRS runs only in Windows, so all the organizations that are not using Windows won’t access this tool.
  • You need a separate smartphone server to run SSRS reports on your cell phone.
  • You need a specialist for troubleshooting the custom code written in SSRS
  • You can only pass down the qualities from subreports to the primary report via parameters.

34). Name the core components of the SSRS framework.

The core components of the SSRS framework are the tools required to design and deploy the applications. It could be an API or a report server component. The API is what is required for app integration while creating and managing reports. You can prepare the report in several formats such as XML, HTML, PDF, Word, or Excel in the report server component.

35. What method will you employ to reduce the overhead generated by Reporting Services data sources?

You can utilize the cached reports and snapshots if you want to reduce the overhead created on top of the Reporting Services data sources.

36. What is meant by mixed-mode database security?

The SQL server offers you the option to allow SQL Server integration with Windows when you install SQL Server. Else it asks you to provide a separate SQL Server user name and password.

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The Windows integration system is not the more secure option of the two. So, it’s better to get a different SQL Server user name and password to log into the database server. Hence, your SSRS reports will require their own username and password.

37. When should you use the Null Data-Driven Subscription?

Developers run commands to prompt a data-driven subscription that uses the Null Delivery Provider. In this process, this command will set the Null Delivery Provider as the principal technique for conveyance in membership. Then, the report server will emphasize the report server database as its conveyance goal.

This will enable a specific rendering augmentation known as the invalid rendering expansion. Unlike other conveyance augmentations, you cannot have the Null Delivery Provider using a membership definition since it doesn’t come with conveyance settings.

38. How would you fine-tune a report?

Step 1. First, augment the server limit or use the detailing administrations of some other database server.

Step 2. Create copies of all information regularly. This will help you experience better insertion and embedding of report substance, application’s rationale, and qualities.

Step 3. Use no lock to resolve the problems related to locking. This will also enhance the performance of the queries. You can do this using dirty read while duplicating the data is unavailable.

39. What are the new features introduced in the SSRS 2017 version?

Given below is the list of all the new features of SSRS:

  • Excel File Export – This allows you to export all the files into Excel format. Before this, only XLS files could have been exported.
  • Data Alerts – There are new data alerts that allow you to create alert thresholds that are evaluated on a user-defined schedule. Moreover, there is a data alert manager that sends alerts to administrators.
  • Power View – The new RDLX file format has the power view option that is a new interactive Business Intelligence feature.

40. What is meant by the term Matrix?

The Matrix in SSRS is an information area that displays report information in the cells assembled into segments and columns. The number of columns and lines in the SSRS collected are managed by the estimations set by the DBA for every column and row gathering.

41. What are data regions? Name the different data regions utilized in SSRS.

Data regions are certain types of reporting items that have repeated rows of several summarized details from all data sets. Given below are all the data regions used in SSRS:

  1. Chart region
  2. Gauge region
  3. List region
  4. Table region
  5. Matrix region

42. What is the name of the Reporting Services Configuration file and where is it located?

The name of the Reporting Services Configuration file is Rsreportserver.config. You can find it in the settings of the Report Manager or Report Server Web Service and background processes.

43. What is meant by the term Parameterized Report?

Parameterized reports execute a report or handle data by using certain input values. A developer can shift the output of a report based on the qualities created while the report was running via a parameterized report. It is often used for connected reports, sub reports, and can drill through reports for associate and channel reports with related data. 

44. How can you add a custom code to an SSRS Report?

To add a custom code to an SSRS report, you need to go to the Reports menu. A list of options will come up. Choose the Reports Properties submenu option and this is where you can find and add alternatives for custom code.

45. What is meant by the term Snapshot Report?

Snapshot Report means a pre-executed report that has the format data and dataset required for the report. These are used for storing the report information based on calendars and are released to the report servers. You can create Report Snapshots whenever a client or application asks for them in a review design. 

46. What are the pros of using snapshots reports?

  • Report history: Snapshots report allow you to create a background marked by a report while preparing a report preview
  • Consistency: Report previews provide trustworthy results to several clients in a consistent fashion.
  • Performance: You can book huge reports to run in the off-top hours. This will decrease the pressure on the report server during peak business hours.

47. What is meant by Click through Reports?

A clickthrough report converses with a table of related data from a report model when you select the intelligent information located in your model-based report. These are created by the report server based on the data delivered while curating your report model.

48. What are Drill Down Reports?

The Drilldown reports in SSRS allow the clients to display or hide information by adding plus or minus signs on a text box. This allows clients to have a hold over how many details others need to see.

49. What are Drillthrough Reports?

A drill through the report is a standard report type in SSRS that a user can open by clicking a hyperlink, i.e. a link in another report. Drill-through reports usually contain information about a certain item that is located in an original summary report.

50. What is meant by the term Cached Report?

A cached report refers to creating a copy of an already handled report. The report server usually caches an instance of the report. But, if the report contains several data types depending on the query parameters, then several versions of the report might get cached at a given time.

51. What is a Data Set of a report in SSRS?

Dataset is a command that retrieves data from the data source for the purpose of report creation. The embedded dataset of SSRS includes SQL commands, filters, parameters, etc. In SSRS, datasets can be of two types: embedded and shared datasets.

52. What is the function of a Report Builder in SSRS?

Report builder is a tool in SSRS used for creating reports. It allows users to build, manage, and publish reports to the SSRS. You can also generate shared datasets via the report builder. It is a standalone installation and so is easy to install and configure.

53. Is it possible to run SSRS with SQL Server Express edition?

Yes, we can easily use SSRS in conjunction with SQL Server Express edition.

Conclusion

We hope that this article helped you learn several key SSRS concepts that are often asked in interviews. These are frequently asked SSRS interview questions and will help you to clear the interview in the very first attempt. Please keep in mind that the above article only provides you with an idea of the questions asked.

But there are a lot more related topics that you could be questioned on. For a fool-proof preparation strategy, we recommend you go through all similar concepts and topics. With that being said, best of luck with your next SSRS interview.

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