Mobile Reports in SSRS 2016

A tiled, dashboard style data presentation derived from DataZen and presentable from SQL Server Reporting Services (traditional rdl reports are differentiated as “Paginated Reports”).

Verdict:  it looks very nice, scales to different displays well, and can be presented in a browser via SSRS.   It lacks any update features, so usage as a dashboard is limited.

SSRS Mobile Report

These are initial comments on Build 1.0.3911.0.

Help

  • There is no help or instructions.

Development

  • developed in a basic application called “SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher” which is not integrated into Visual Studio.
  • The app can publish direct to report server or to file system as a .rsmobile file.
  • .rsmobile is a zipped file containing several xml files (sources, assets, metadata, definition), thumbnail images, a resources subfolder with colour specifications, and a data subfolder.
    • The data subfolder only exists if Enable client data caching is ticked in Settings.  Does this mean that data is fixed at design time and will not refresh?  If not, how long is data cached?
    • If present, the data subfolder contains a file for each data set defined containing the full data set returned, as far as I can see.  The format is JSON – encrypted if Encrypt data stored on the client is selected in Settings.

Data

  • Takes data from standard SSRS Datasets or from Excel.  Presumably the Excel data has to be cached in the .rsmobile file.
  • Parameterised Datasets (without defaults) cannot be used.  However MS stated that these would be supported by general release.   However, there would seem to be little value in supporting parameterised datasets unless the parameters could be exposed to the mobile report users – as query string parameters, for example.  Maybe that is what is being considered.
  • Enable client data caching defaults to ON, Encryption defaults OFF.

Auto Refresh

It would make an attractive dashboard if it could refresh automatically.

  • There is no refresh option in the UI.  The full browser page can be refreshed, which a fair amount of distracting animation.
  • An auto-refresh browser plugin could be used.
  • From tests I can confirm that setting Dataset cache expiry on a scheduled doesn’t cause the report automatically to update.
  • Is there a refresh button in the mobile rendering of it?