Redmond Issues Upgrade for SQL Reporting Services

Microsoft unveils the first service-pack upgrade for its SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services software.
Less than two months after acquiring ActiveViews in order to add ad-hoc reporting to its business intelligence stack, Microsoft (Quote, Chart) unveiled the first service pack upgrade for its SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services software.

A key piece of the Redmond, Wash., company's SQL Server database platform, Reporting Services aims to help business performance by providing enterprises with graphical reports about the company, its products and employees.

More than 75,000 developers downloaded Reporting Services since its January 27 launch, said Alex Payne, senior product manager for SQL Server. Since that time, the company has received enough customer feedback to warrant improvements.

With that feedback, SQL Services SP1 features bug fixes and performance enhancements. Chief among these are boost to Excel spreadsheet rendering. Currently, Reporting Services can be piped out in XP and 2003, but Payne said Microsoft has extended support to Excel 97 and 2000, giving the company the ability to reach more customers.

Other improvements launched Tuesday include the software's ability to handle large matrices, as well as greater chart control and pagination. Data caching has been improved for customers previewing reports.

"This will be efficient in helping customers go about building reports," Payne told, noting that Phelps-Dodge, Allianz Dresdner Asset Management and the Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain are currently deploying the upgrades.

SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services SP1 is available for free download from Microsoft's Web site.

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