Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Reporting Services 2012 on iOS

A couple of months ago Microsoft announced support for iOS (ie iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) in Reporting Services 2012 with the release of SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1. During the Christmas break I thought I'd try it out.

The basic instructions are here - and they are pretty straightforward. The result is that Reporting Services reports render in Safari on iOS devices. A screenshot of an AdventureWorks sample report on an iPhone (in landscape mode) follows:

As you can see all of the interactivity is available as well as the ability to pinch-to-zoom in and out of a report and swipe-to-pan around it.

A couple of things to note:

1. Reports rendered in the Report Manager don't appear to work - the web page is blank. So if you're relying on this serve reports to users you're out of luck, its the web service report viewer only.

2. As the screenshot demonstrates even a relatively simple report doesn't format all that well on the small amount of screen-estate available on an iPhone. The Reporting Services implementation won't help much with this issue. This is slightly mitigated by the additional touch-enabled navigation options, but I think bespoke iPhone reports will be necessary.

3. Trying to find software to emulate iOS on Windows is hard! Most are on-line only which require a publicly accessible website. The iOS SDK appears to be OS X only. In the end I had to borrow an iPhone to demo it.

4. Remember if you're trying it out using Reporting Services on your Windows 7 machine to open up your Windows firewall!