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Microsoft Offers Service Pack For Reporting Services

Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2000 reporting services is available now, Microsoft said Tuesday.
Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2000 reporting services is available now, Microsoft said Tuesday.

The free service pack aims to extend the reach of reports generated out of SQL Server data. For example, it will now render results for Excel spreadsheets going back to Excel 97 and 2000 versions. The current version of reporting services had required the more recent Excel XP, said Alex Payne, product manager. It will also more easily render in PDF format. That should enable business analysts and others to more easily and broadly distribute their results.

During the report design and building process, the query can now be cached so it need not be rerun each time the designer tweaks his or her work, a change that should streamline the iterative procedure. Companies will also be able to more easily embed their corporate logos or other outside art into reports, Payne said.

Payne said there have been more than 75,000 downloads of the reporting services software since it was officially launched in January.

The original game plan had been to offer reporting services for the future SQL Server, aka Yukon. Last year, due to Yukon slips, the company decided to push forward with the services for the current SQL Server 2000 release.

The very notion that Microsoft would offer reporting and analytics with its database caused a stir last year. Companies typically used third-party products like Crystal Reports to generate graphical reports from the rows-and-columns of their databases.

In related news, a Microsoft spokeswoman said the next major beta of Yukon, now known as SQL Server 2005, is still on schedule to ship by month's end.