On Tuesday, Microsoft released SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services, a server-based platform for creating, managing, and delivering both traditional paper reports and interactive, Web-based reports. An integrated part of the Microsoft business intelligence (BI) framework, Reporting Services combines the data-management capabilities of SQL Server and Microsoft Windows Server with Microsoft Office System applications to deliver information to business decision makers.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

   Reporting Services supports various data sources, including OLE DB and Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), as well as multiple output formats such as Web browsers and Office System applications. By using Microsoft Visual Studio .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework, developers can work with existing information systems and connect to custom data sources, produce additional output formats, and deliver information to a variety of devices. Report developers can publish reports to the Report Server by using Microsoft or third-party design tools that use the XML-based Report Definition Language (RDL). Reporting Services publishes and manages report definitions, folders, and resources as Web services, and the software supports both on-demand (pull) and event-based (push) delivery of reports.

    Microsoft is offering a 120-day evaluation edition of the software. For more information or to view a demonstration of the product, visit Microsoft's Reporting Services home page at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/reporting/default.asp .