Microsoft released SQL Server 2005 Report Packs at the end of March. Some of you might have already begun to explore this great resource, but I suspect they're still new to many users. Report Packs includes 65 reports that pertain to the following areas:

  • SQL Server 2005 Integration Services (new)
  • SharePoint Portal Server 2003
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) Logs
  • Microsoft Axapta 3.0 (new)
  • Microsoft Great Plains 8.0
  • Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains 9.0 (new)
  • Microsoft Dynamics Navision 4.0
  • Financial Reporting

Although I haven't played with all of the reports, I think the Report Packs will be a great resource for the community, and I encourage you to check them out.You can read about Report Packs and download the appropriate files at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=D81722CE-408C-4FB6-A429-2A7ECD62F674. You'll also want to visit Microsoft's Report Packs community site at http://codegallery.gotdotnet .com/sqlrptpack. This site provides a way for members to share tips and tricks about how to use the Report Packs.

I'm particularly intrigued by the Report Packs that relate to managing and using core SQL Server 2005 services such as SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). Historically, Microsoft has always provided a rich set of management tools for free, unlike other relational database management system (RDBMS) competitors.However,as soon as Microsoft releases a new version of SQL Server, customers invariably start thinking "Wow, these tools are nice, but it would have been great if Microsoft gave us a report to track XYZ." Separating the Report Packs from the OS lets Microsoft deliver useful reporting and monitoring tools outside of normal OS release cycles. As you know, product-release cycles can be 2?3 years, or even as much as 5 years in the case of SQL Server 2005. Providing a mechanism to release supported and integrated management reporting will be a huge boon to SQL Server customers because it provides a more rapid release of updated management reporting tools.