Today we wrap up coverage of Reporting Services within SQL Server 2005 Express with Advanced Services by taking a final look at the completed report and then deploying it. (For the earlier articles in this series, see the Related Articles box.)

Reopen the Reporting Services project by clicking Start, then selecting All Programs, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, SQL Server Business Intelligence Studio. Select your report project from the Recent Projects list or use the File, Open, Project/Solution option. In the earlier articles, I explained how to use the Data tab to select the desired data and the Layout tab to format the report. Now, click the Preview tab to render the sample report. The following figure shows the report preview.

Previewing the report renders it in Report Designer. Rendering essentially grabs all required data and formats it according to the report specifications that you created. Here you can see the data that's been selected and the formatting that's been applied to the sample report. At the top of the report is a navigation bar you can use to page through the report. If Report Designer generates errors when it attempts to preview the report, you need to return to the Layout tab to make corrections.

At this point the report has been created and is viewable through Report Designer, but users can't run the report because it hasn't yet been deployed. To deploy the report, select the Build, Deploy Report option from the menu. Report Designer will copy the report to the local machine's Reporting Services endpoint. By default, that endpoint is at http://<ComputerName>/ReportServer, where <ComputerName> is the name of your local SQL Server Express system. After the report is deployed, users can access and run it by pointing their browser to the http://<ComputerName>/ReportServer URL and clicking the report link.

Now you’ve see how to create and deploy your first report with SQL Server 2005 Express with Advanced Services. This report creation capability isn’t present in any other of the database-light products available today.

This is the final issue you'll receive of SQL Server Express UPDATE—we're moving our continuing coverage of SQL Server Express to the Making IT Work blog on the Windows IT Pro Web site (www.windowsitpro.com). It’s been fun exploring SQL Server Express, and I hope you've learned some useful tips and techniques. For more information about the new blog, see Check It Out in this issue of SQL Server Express UPDATE or at www.sqlmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=99046.