Mobile Business Intelligence Series: Part 1 – Mobilising Native SSRS

This is the first part in a series about implementing Mobile Business Intelligence. Interested readers may like to know that I’m presenting on this topic at a number of events, including SQLSaturday 162 in Cambridge, UK, and at SQLSaturday 170 in Munich, Germany. I also presented on this topic at SQLMidlands in July 2012, and also in SQLSaturday South Florida straight after TechEd North America 2012.

In this series, I will suggest different ways in which people can mobilise reports using a variety of technologies. If I am missing some from the list, please let me know! I should add that Copper Blue or myself are not affiliated or partnered with any of the organisations that  appear here. These are simply solutions to business problems that I’ve come across, and thought it might be useful to share here. 
One question is this: how can we mobilise standalone SSRS reports without SharePoint?  Here are some suggestions, which are dependent on your mobile device:

At the time of writing, Reporting Services isn’t viewable on an iPad in SharePoint 2010.  Issues that you might find include the following:

Native Mode Report Manager not fully functional
Some reported drop-down issues, for example, if you have more than 6 parameters. In this case, you might want to consider PowerPivot. I will look at this later on in the current series.
Vertical text does not render properly. In any case, are you sure that you need to use it?
Calendar control issues

How is it possible to view Reporting Services on an iPad? One option is to use MobiWeave, which displays SQL Server Reporting Services reports.  It’s possible to download an evaluation copy from the MobiWeave site. Here are the main features: 
  • Download and View Reporting Services Reports from multiple reporting servers
  • Supports SSRS in SQL Server 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012
  • It also supports Azure SSRS in Native and Sharepoint modes with SSL
  • Parameters support – remember that this requires specific ways of interacting on the iPad
  • Interactive mode which supports Drill down and Drill through reports
  • Bookmarks and History will also work
As a Windows fan ( I can’t wait until I get my hands on a Surface!) I like Blue Granite Nitro. Blue Granite uses XML-formatted data to produce dashboards and reports. The XML data is generated using an application server, such as SQL Server Reporting Services. This tool is available from the Zune MarketPlace (how I love saying that!), and you can take a look here.

These solutions might be a good option for people who don’t have SharePoint but still want mobile business intelligence. 
Next up, we will look at the various options for mobile Business Intelligence in SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 Preview. I’m a SharePoint fan so it’s next up! I look forward to your comments.

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