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The perfect solution for creating powerful yet inexpensive business solutions by integrating data from multiple SharePoint lists. Enesys RS Data Extension lets you leverage all the power of Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services with your SharePoint Data.

Knowledge Base and Samples

Guidelines for Evaluating Enesys RS Data Extension

This article explains how you can easily evaluate Enesys RS Data Extension without installing a Report Server. It also provides comprehensive information for conducting your evaluation.

At first, it may seem like a daunting task to install the complete Microsoft Reporting Services platform in order to give "Enesys RS Data Extension" a try. This might not be a big deal if you are already using Reporting Services. However, even in that case, it may not necessarily be practical to get the necessary access to the platform to achieve a quick evaluation of our product. The fact is that it is not necessary to install a report server in order to evaluate Enesys RS Data Extension.

Indeed, Business Intelligence Development Studio, the Microsoft Client tool that is used to build reports, includes a local report engine. It is therefore possible to build, design and preview reports locally on a workstation without having a report server installed.

If you like what you see after building a few reports with BIDS and our extension, you will certainly want to go one step further and deploy your reports on a report server. This is however an interesting option of being able to start the evaluation process without much installation and configuration efforts.

Do I need Visual Studio to install Business Intelligence Development Studio?

Obviously, BIDS looks like Visual Studio because it uses Visual Studio core interface. However, you don't need Visual Studio for installing it on a workstation and start building reports.

If you have Visual Studio already installed, it will supercharge your existing installation by providing additional options for creating report projects.

If you don't have Visual Studio installed, the BIDS installation will install everything you need to build reports within Visual Studio interface.

How do I install Business Intelligence Development Studio?

Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) is part of the SQL Server Installation (Standard, Enterprise or Developer editions).

Of course, while running this installation on a workstation, you won't install any services. Just select Business Intelligence Development Studio tool which is part of the "Shared Features Component Group" for 2008 and 2008R2 version. For 2005 version, it is part of "Workstation Components, Books Online, and Development Tools" Component Group.

The installation will just take a few of minutes.

Enesys RS Data Extension Installation

As mentioned before, BIDS has its own local report engine which is why you can execute reports locally (preview mode) without having a report server installed or configured. Therefore, you will need to install "Enesys RS Data Extension" on top of BIDS. The installation is straightforward and is just a matter of minutes:

  1. Ensure you have requested an evaluation key.
  2. Ensure you have downloaded the latest version of our extension installation program.
  3. Run the installation program and follow the instructions.
  4. The very last screen of the installation program will propose you to launch the "Client Configuration" tool and/or the "Server Configuration" tool. Check the first option as shown in the following screen shot and click finish.
    After the installation has completed, select the Client Configuration tool to launch.
  5. In the Client Configuration tool, copy and paste the Evaluation License key that has been emailed to you and click Install.

You are now ready to build and execute reports over your SharePoint lists.

Building your first reports

We all know it's not always easy to get up to speed with a new tool. Even though Enesys RS Data Extension makes it somewhat easier by extending a well established product like Reporting Services, it often takes time to read the documentation and master the basic concepts.

In order to facilitate your evaluation here are some recommendations:

Quick Start Video

If you like to discover by yourself, we are providing a video that shows you how to build a report from scratch using data from a set of lists that are used for managing room reservations in a fictitious company:

This video is certainly a good start as it goes through all the steps from creating a report project up to the deployment of the finished report to the Report Server.

Online Goto-meeting Session

We are proposing a short 20 to 60 minutes Online Goto-Meeting session to explain you the basics of creating reports over SharePoint data.

You may want to start directly with this session if you don't have any previous experience in designing reports with Reporting Services. We will provide you with the basics of Microsoft Report Designer as well.

Alternatively, you may want to spend some time with our tool before requesting this session. We will be able to answer any questions you may have.

This online session is obviously the opportunity to build your first report over your own SharePoint lists. If you have some report in mind, we will try to make it real during the session. After all, this is what Enesys RS Data Extension is for: solving business data related scenarios in a short time.

Send an email to our team and ask for an Online Session.

Additional Material

Documentation
Enesys RS Data Extension comes with a complete documentation. You can access the various manuals from the "Enesys RS Data Extension 2008" program group created at installation.

Query Construction General Principles
The following article provides an detailed overview of the general principles for building queries with Enesys RS Data Extension.

Ready to Use Reports
We are providing various reporting projects containing ready to use reports for various business needs (current and next assignment from a project task list, reporting from a survey list, ...).

Conclusion

Hopefully, the information available in this article will help you in conducting Enesys RS Data Extension Evaluation.

To summarize:

  • You don't need to install a report server. BIDS (Microsoft Report designer) on your workstation is sufficient for building and executing reports.
  • BIDS is part of SQL Server Installation and it takes a few minutes to install.
  • Enesys RS Data Extension takes a few minutes to install on top of BIDS.
  • We will be pleased to help you get up to speed through a Goto-meeting session.
  • In any cases, do not hesitate to contact our support for any questions while evaluating our tool.