Common SSRS Interview Questions for 2023 - IQCode

Introduction to SSRS

SSRS stands for SQL Server Reporting Services and is a free reporting tool by Microsoft that is included with SQL Server. It generates structured reports consisting of data tables, graphs, and charts that can be stored on a server. Users can run these reports by providing parameters. The tool provides security features to limit report access.

Consider a scenario where a medical research facility collects data of patients participating in clinical trials. Without SSRS, the facility has to manually send reports of weekly participants to the pharmaceutical company. This process could be time-consuming for the facility. However, using SSRS, the facility can generate on-demand reports in a pre-defined format, and the pharmaceutical company can retrieve and run the report on the cloud to acquire the most up-to-date data.

Below is an SSRS interview question for freshers:

1. What is data visualization, and why do we need it?

Code: N/A

Plain text: Data visualization refers to the representation of data in graphical or pictorial form to help users understand complex information easily. It enables users to identify patterns, trends, and relationships in data that would be difficult to notice in tabular format. Data visualization is necessary for making better business decisions by providing insights and facilitating the communication of information.

Features of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a powerful reporting tool from Microsoft that allows users to create, manage, and deliver reports. Some of its key features include:

  • Flexible report design: SSRS offers a variety of tools for report design, including a report wizard, a graphical report designer, and a text editor for advanced users.
  • Data sources: Reports can be generated from various data sources including relational databases and multidimensional cubes.
  • Data visualization: SSRS supports a wide range of data visualizations, including charts, maps, tables, and gauges.
  • Report delivery: Reports can be delivered in various formats, such as PDF, Excel, and HTML, and can be scheduled for automatic delivery.
  • Report management: SSRS allows for easy management of reports, including version control and security.

Overall, SSRS is a powerful and flexible reporting tool that can be used to create a wide range of reports for various business needs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

offers several advantages and disadvantages, including:


  • Easy to use and navigate for both developers and end users
  • Allows for centralized reporting, making it simple to manage reports across an organization and ensure consistency
  • Supports a wide range of data sources and can integrate with other Microsoft products
  • Provides robust reporting capabilities, such as charts, tables, and graphs, for generating visually appealing reports
  • Offers flexible deployment options, allowing reports to be viewed on the web or through email subscriptions


  • Can be difficult to configure and set up initially
  • Requires Microsoft SQL Server and may not be compatible with other database platforms
  • Can be resource-intensive and may require additional hardware to run effectively
  • May not be suitable for complex reports or large datasets, as performance can degrade with excessive data volume

Overall, SSRS is a powerful reporting tool that can provide significant benefits for organizations. However, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks and weigh them against the specific needs of your business.

Architecture of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

SSRS is a server-based reporting platform that allows users to create and manage a wide range of reports. The architecture of SSRS consists of three main components:

  1. Report Server: This is the core component of SSRS that manages the entire report lifecycle, including report processing, rendering, and delivery. The report server interacts with the other components of SSRS to provide a complete reporting solution.
  2. Report Manager: This web-based interface allows users to modify, deploy, and manage reports. Report Manager is built on top of the Report Server and provides a user-friendly interface to manage the report lifecycle.
  3. Report Builder: This is a client application that allows users to create and design reports without the need for programming knowledge. Report Builder provides a drag-and-drop interface to create reports and allows users to preview and publish reports directly to the report server.

SSRS supports different data sources such as SQL Server, Oracle and OLE-DB. The data from these sources can be used to create reports that are displayed in various formats including HTML, PDF, and Excel.

Overall, the architecture of SSRS is designed to provide a flexible, scalable, and easy-to-use reporting platform.

What is your understanding of Data Regions in the context of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)?

In SSRS, Data Regions are containers used to display data from datasets in a report. They can be of various types such as tables, matrices, charts, lists, and more. Data Regions are created in the Report Designer and bound to a dataset, which determines what data will be displayed in the region. The data within a Data Region can also be further manipulated through the use of filters, grouping, and aggregation. This allows for the creation of dynamic and customizable reports that can effectively communicate insights from large datasets.

Types of Data Regions in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

In SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), data regions are used to organize and present data in a report. The different types of data regions in SSRS are:

  • Table: Used to display data in a tabular format, where each row represents a record and each column represents a field.
  • Matrix: Similar to a table, but with the ability to group data by row and column.
  • List: Used to display a list of data in a free-form format, where each item can have its own layout.
  • Chart: Used to display data in a graphical format, such as a bar chart, line chart, or pie chart.
  • Subreport: Used to embed one report within another report.

Each data region has its own set of properties and can be customized to suit the needs of the report. By using the appropriate data region, you can create a report that presents data in a clear and effective manner.

Understanding the Reporting Lifecycle in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

The reporting lifecycle in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) involves the following stages:

1. Data Source Configuration: In this stage, a data source is configured in SSRS to retrieve data from various sources such as SQL Server, Oracle, and other data repositories.

2. Report Design: In this stage, a report is designed using a variety of controls such as text boxes, tables, charts, and graphs. The design is based on the requirements and specifications of the report.

3. Report Development: In this stage, the report is created using the data source that was configured in the first stage. The report is developed using Visual Studio or SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT).

4. Report Deployment: In this stage, the report is deployed to a report server. The report server provides access to the report to users who have the appropriate permissions.

5. Report Access: In this stage, users can access the report from a web browser or other applications. Users can view the report, export it to other formats such as PDF, Excel, and Word, or print it.

6. Report Maintenance: In this stage, the report is maintained and updated as needed to reflect changes in data or business requirements. This includes modifying the report design, data source configuration, or report parameters.

Various Stages Involved in Report Processing in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

When a report is executed in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), it goes through several stages of processing before the final output is generated.

The typical stages involved in report processing are:

  1. Data Retrieval: This stage involves retrieving data from the specified data sources based on the query defined in the report.
  2. Data Processing: Once the data is retrieved, it goes through processing, which applies transforms, filters, and grouping to it as per the report definition.
  3. Layout Processing: In this stage, the layout of the report is defined, the report sections are created, and the placeholders for data are determined.
  4. Rendering: The last stage of report processing is rendering, where the final output is generated based on the layout and data retrieved. It can be rendered in various formats, including HTML, PDF, Excel, and Word.

By understanding these stages involved in report processing, developers can effectively optimize the report design, query performance, and overall processing time.

Understanding Paginated Reports in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

Paginated reports are a type of report format in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) that presents data in a tabular, paginated format for print or PDF output. These reports allow for precise control of formatting, layout, and pagination, making them ideal for documents such as invoices, statements, and financial reports.

In SSRS, paginated reports are created using the Report Designer tool and are typically based on a SQL Server data source. The data is organized into tables, matrices, or lists of textboxes, and parameters can be used to filter and control the data displayed in the report.

When a paginated report is run, the data is retrieved from the data source and processed according to the report definition. The output is generated in a paginated format, with each page representing a subset of the data. Navigation and interactivity features can also be added to provide users with the ability to drill down into the data or view it in different ways.

Overall, paginated reports are a powerful tool in SSRS for presenting and sharing data in a precise and customizable way, making them a valuable asset in many different industries and applications.

Benefits of Using Paginated Reports in SQL Server Reporting Services

Paginated reports are widely used in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). These reports provide several benefits in the context of SSRS, including:

1. Improved Performance: Paginated reports can improve the performance of SSRS by reducing the amount of data retrieved in each query and by allowing users to view data in smaller, more manageable chunks.

2. Better Data Visualization: Paginated reports provide a high degree of data visualization capabilities, allowing users to view data in charts, graphs, and tables that are easy to read and understand.

3. Enhanced Exporting: Paginated reports can be exported to a variety of formats, including PDF, Excel, and Word, making it easier for users to share and distribute report data.

4. Custom Styling: Paginated reports offer a wide range of customization options, including styling, formatting, and branding, allowing users to create reports that match their organization's branding and style guidelines.

5. Greater Control: Paginated reports provide greater control over report layout and formatting, allowing users to control page breaks, pagination, and other layout elements to create reports that meet their specific needs.

Overall, paginated reports offer a range of benefits that make them an attractive option for data visualization and reporting in SSRS.

Types of Reports in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) offers several types of reports that can be created to present data in various formats. The following are the four primary types of reports that can be created in SSRS:

  1. Tabular Reports: These reports are similar to simple spreadsheets, with data arranged in columns and rows for easy readability. This type of report is commonly used for financial and budgetary analysis.
  2. Matrix Reports: Also known as cross-tab reports, these reports display data in a grid-like format, with aggregate values displayed in intersecting cells. This type of report is often used for summarizing and comparing data across multiple dimensions.
  3. Charts: These reports are used to display data visually, with various types of charts available, including line charts, bar charts, and pie charts. Charts are useful for quickly identifying patterns and trends in data.
  4. Drilldown Reports: These reports allow users to navigate through levels of data, starting at a high-level summary and then drilling down to increasingly detailed information. This type of report is ideal for presenting data that requires various levels of analysis.

By understanding the different types of reports available in SSRS, users can choose the best format for their data and create reports that effectively communicate insights in a clear and concise manner.

Rendering extensions in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) has several rendering extensions available for rendering reports. Some of these are:

- Excel
- Word

Each of these extensions allow the report to be rendered in a different format suitable for various purposes and audience. For example, HTML is useful for viewing the report in a web browser, while Excel is suitable for further data analysis and manipulation.

Pagination in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

Pagination in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) refers to dividing a large report into smaller pages for ease of reading and printing. This allows the user to view, navigate and print the report in a more organized and manageable manner. In SSRS, pagination can be achieved by setting page size, margins, and other properties. Additionally, it is possible to add page headers and footers that display information such as report name, page number, date and time, etc. Pagination is a crucial component of SSRS reports, as it helps ensure that the report is comprehensible and accessible to the end user.

Choosing Data Type for Radio Button Parameter in SQL Server Reporting Services Report

When creating a radio button parameter in a SQL Server Reporting Services report, it is recommended to use the "integer" data type. This is because integer values work well with the available options for radio buttons, and it is easier to handle them in further programming or data analysis tasks. Additionally, using the integer data type for radio button parameters will ensure compatibility with other systems and applications.H3. Generating Sequence Number for All Records in an SSRS Report

To generate a sequence number for all records in an SSRS report, we can use the RowNumber function. The RowNumber function returns the sequential number for each row within the specified scope.

Here's an example of how to use the RowNumber function in the SSRS report:

1. Open the SSRS report in Visual Studio. 2. In the Design tab, add a new column to the Tablix where you want to display the sequence number. 3. In the new column, set the value expression to "=RowNumber(Nothing)". 4. Preview the report to see the sequence numbers generated for each row.

By using the RowNumber function, we can easily generate a sequence number for all records in the SSRS report.

Choosing between an SSRS Report and a Database Server for Query Storage

When deciding whether to use an SSRS report or a database server to store queries, there are a few factors to consider. One major consideration is the size of the query results. If the results are relatively small, an SSRS report might be a better option as it can store and easily retrieve small amounts of data. On the other hand, if the query results are large, a database server may be a better choice as it can handle and store large amounts of data more efficiently.

Another factor to consider is the level of access needed to the query results. If the data is highly sensitive and requires strict access control, a database server may be a better choice as it offers advanced security features such as encryption, access control, and audit logs. An SSRS report, on the other hand, may not offer the same level of security.

Ultimately, the decision to use an SSRS report or a database server for query storage will depend on the specific requirements of the project at hand. It's important to carefully consider the size of the query results and the level of access control needed before making a decision.

Explanation of Multi-Value Parameters in SSRS Report

In SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services), multi-value parameters allow selecting more than one parameter value at a time for a single report field. For example, if a report field includes a list of products, with multi-value parameters, a user can select multiple products from the list to include in the report. This parameter type provides flexibility and customization options to users, enabling them to tailor the report according to their specific needs.

Technique to Reduce Reporting Services Data Sources Overhead

One technique to reduce overhead in Reporting Services data sources is to use caching. This involves storing data in memory so that subsequent requests for the same data can be handled more quickly. Another technique is to optimize queries and reduce the amount of data being retrieved from the data source. This can be achieved by filtering data at the source, using stored procedures, and optimizing indexes. Additionally, regularly monitoring and tuning the performance of the data sources can help to identify and fix any issues that may be causing unnecessary overhead.

Open Source Alternatives to SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

Here are some open source software options that could be used as an alternative to SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS):

  • Apache Metron
  • BIRT
  • Pentaho Reporting
  • JasperReports
  • ReportServer
  • SpagoBI
  • OpenReports

Each of these tools has its own unique features and advantages, so it's worth exploring each one to determine which best fits your needs.

Some servers compatible with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

There are several servers with which you can use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), including:

Microsoft SharePoint

Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Services)

Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft Exchange Server

Microsoft Dynamics AX

and many others.

SSRS Interview Questions for Experienced

In SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), there are several command prompt utilities available that can be used to automate tasks and perform various actions. Some of these utilities include:


This utility can be used to create, modify, or delete the configuration files for a Reporting Services installation.


This utility is used to manage the encryption keys that are used by SSRS to secure sensitive data.


This is a command-line utility that can be used to run or script SSRS administrative tasks.


This utility can be used to deploy reports, data sources, and other SSRS artifacts from the command line.

These utilities can be very useful for automating routine tasks, such as deploying reports, managing encryption, and configuring SSRS installations.

Things to Consider When Creating Paginated Reports in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

When creating paginated reports in SSRS, it is important to keep the following things in mind:

  • The data should be properly sorted and filtered to avoid unnecessary data fetching and processing.
  • The page breaks should be set up correctly to ensure that the report is easy to read and navigate.
  • The report should include a table of contents, as well as page numbers and other navigational aids.
  • The report should be tested thoroughly to ensure that it is accurate and meets the requirements of the end users.
  • Consider the performance impact of the report on the server, especially if the report is expected to handle a large amount of data.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can create effective and user-friendly paginated reports in SSRS.

Understanding Physical Pages in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

In SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), a physical page refers to a page that's meant to be printed or rendered to a specific output format, such as PDF or Excel. These pages are made up of one or more logical pages, which in turn consist of report items such as tables, charts, and text boxes.

Physical pages can be customized in SSRS by setting various properties such as size, orientation, and margins. Additionally, the order and layout of report items on a physical page can be modified to meet specific design requirements.

Understanding the concept of physical pages in SSRS is crucial for creating accurate and visually appealing reports that can be easily exported to various formats.

Understanding Logical Pages in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

Logical Pages in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) refer to the virtual representation of report pages that can be used by the report server to optimize data transfer and rendering. These pages are not physical entities, but rather logical divisions of a report, used to separate report content based on a given size or number of rows.

Logical Pages help to improve the performance of reports by reducing the amount of data retrieved from the database at a time and by optimizing the rendering of reports by dividing large reports into smaller, more manageable sections. This feature is particularly beneficial for large, complex reports that require significant amounts of data to be processed and displayed.

In SSRS, designers can use the concept of logical pages to control the display and layout of reports, as well as to optimize the report's performance. By dividing report content into logical pages, designers can control the number of rows that are displayed on each page, adjust the page margins, and specify the number of columns that should be used.

In summary, Logical Pages in SQL Server Reporting Services are a useful tool for optimizing report rendering and performance, as well as providing more control over report presentation and layout.

Explanation of Authentication Modes for a Database Engine

In a database engine, there are generally two authentication modes: Windows Authentication and SQL Server Authentication.

Windows Authentication: This mode allows a user to log in to the database engine using their Windows account credentials. This type of authentication is controlled by the operating system, and the permissions of the user on the system will determine their permissions within the database engine.

SQL Server Authentication: This mode requires a user to provide a login name and password to access the database engine. User credentials are stored within the database engine, with encrypted passwords to ensure security. This mode allows remote access to the database engine.

To choose the appropriate authentication mode for your database engine, consider factors such as security, ease of use, and management requirements. Windows Authentication may be preferred for in-house systems, while SQL Server Authentication may be preferable for web-based systems and remote access scenarios.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using SQL Server Authentication

Introduction: SQL Server Authentication is a method used to authenticate users accessing Microsoft SQL Server. In this authentication mode, users have to provide a valid username and password in order to gain access to the database. Let's take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using SQL Server Authentication.


  • Simplicity: SQL Server Authentication is relatively simple to set up, and it's easy to manage users and their passwords.
  • Flexibility: SQL Server Authentication allows users to have different usernames and passwords for different applications, so it provides greater flexibility in terms of managing user security.
  • Compatibility: SQL Server Authentication is compatible with a wide range of platforms and programming languages, making it easy to integrate with different applications.


  • Security: SQL Server Authentication is less secure than Windows Authentication, which uses the user's Windows login credentials to authenticate them. This is because passwords are more vulnerable to being stolen or cracked than Windows login tokens.
  • Management: With SQL Server Authentication, managing each user's password can be time-consuming and challenging, especially for large organizations with many users.
  • Auditability: It can be more challenging to audit SQL Server Authentication, as it requires tracking each user's password changes and usage logs in more detail than Windows Authentication.

Conclusion: SQL Server Authentication is a simple and flexible way to authenticate users, but it has its vulnerabilities and can be challenging to manage in large organizations. It's essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding to use SQL Server Authentication for your database security needs.

Use Cases of Snapshot Reports in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

Snapshot reports in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) are useful in scenarios where a user wants to view a report at a specific point in time, without the report being updated with the latest data. Some common use cases for snapshot reports include:

  • Creating archive reports that can be accessed in the future for comparison and analysis.
  • Producing monthly or quarterly financial statements that need to remain fixed after being generated.
  • Providing a static version of a report that can be accessed and distributed to users who don't have access to the live report server.

In summary, snapshot reports allow for a fixed, unchanging view of a report at a specific moment in time, which can be useful for various purposes such as archiving, auditing, and distribution.

Understanding RDL in the Context of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

RDL stands for Report Definition Language, which is used by SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to define the layout and structure of a report. Essentially, RDL files contain all the instructions needed to generate a report, such as the report's data source, layout, formatting, and expressions. RDL also enables users to customize reports as per their requirements. With the help of RDL, the users can create interactive reports, data visualizations and charts, which make it a powerful tool for data analysis and reporting.

Sending an SSRS Report from SSIS

To send an SSRS report from SSIS, you can follow these steps:

  1. Create an SSIS package in Visual Studio.
  2. Add a Send Mail Task to the package.
  3. Configure the Send Mail Task to include the SSRS report as an attachment.
  4. Use an expression to dynamically generate the file path of the SSRS report.
  5. Test the SSIS package to ensure that the mail with the SSRS report attachment is sent successfully.

Here's an example of how to set up an SSIS package to send an SSRS report as an attachment in a mail:

  Dim rptPath as String = String.Format("http://reportserver/ReportServer/Pages/ReportViewer.aspx?%2fReport+Folder%2fReport+Name&rs:Command=Render")
  Dim fileName as String = "Report.pdf"
  Dim mailAttachment as System.Net.Mail.Attachment = new System.Net.Mail.Attachment(rptPath)
  Dim mailClient as new System.Net.Mail.SmtpClient()
  Dim mailMessage as new System.Net.Mail.MailMessage()
  mailClient.Host = ""
  mailMessage.To.Add("[email protected]")
  mailMessage.From = new System.Net.Mail.MailAddress("[email protected]")
  mailMessage.Subject = "Report"
  mailMessage.Body = "Please find attached the report."

In the above code, replace the values of rptPath, fileName, mailClient.Host, mailMessage.To, mailMessage.From, mailMessage.Subject, and mailMessage.Body with the appropriate values for your scenario.

Cascaded Parameterized Reports

Cascaded parameterized reports are reports where the values available in one parameter depend on the values selected in a previous parameter. For example, if a user selects a specific country in the first parameter, the second parameter will display a list of cities only for that selected country. This allows for more streamlined and specific reports as the user can filter down their selection based on previous selections.

Differences between SQL Server Reporting Services and Power BI

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and Power BI are two different tools used for data visualization and reporting.

1. Purpose:

SSRS is a traditional reporting tool used for creating static reports such as tables, charts, and graphs for business intelligence needs. Power BI, on the other hand, is a modern analytics tool used for creating interactive visualizations and dashboards that can be accessed on various devices.

2. Data Sources:

SSRS can work with a range of data sources including SQL Server, Oracle, and Excel. Power BI can also work with the same data sources as well as cloud-based sources such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, and SharePoint Online.

3. Functionality:

SSRS has limited functionality with features such as paginated reports, ad-hoc reports, and drill down reports. Power BI, on the other hand, has a wide range of features such as interactive dashboards, real-time data streaming, and natural language queries for data exploration.

4. User-Friendliness:

SSRS can be complex and difficult to use for non-technical users. Power BI, on the other hand, is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use even for non-technical users with drag and drop features and a simple interface.

5. Cost:

SSRS is a part of the SQL Server package and doesn't require any additional licensing. Power BI, on the other hand, requires a separate license and has both a free and paid version with additional features.

// Sample code for Power BI query that fetches data for a visualization
    Source = Excel.Workbook(File.Contents("C:\MyData.xlsx"), null, true),
    Sheet1_Sheet = Source{[Item="Sheet1",Kind="Sheet"]}[Data],
    #"Promoted Headers" = Table.PromoteHeaders(Sheet1_Sheet, [PromoteAllScalars=true]),
    #"Changed Type" = Table.TransformColumnTypes(#"Promoted Headers",{{"Order ID", Int64.Type}, {"Product", type text}, {"Quantity", Int64.Type}}),
    #"Grouped Rows" = Table.Group(#"Changed Type", {"Product"}, {{"Total Quantity", each List.Sum([Quantity]), type nullable number}})
    #"Grouped Rows"

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