Manage processing options

You can set processing options on a report to determine when data processing occurs. You can also set a time-out value for report processing, and options that determine whether report history is enabled for the current report.

What do you want to do?

Set data refresh options

Set report caching options

Set processing time-out values

Set report history options and limits

Set data refresh options

A report snapshot is a report that retrieves data at scheduled intervals and stores the data in the report server database. You can run a report as a report snapshot to prevent data processing at arbitrary times (for example, during a scheduled backup). A report snapshot is usually created and subsequently refreshed on a schedule, allowing you to time exactly when report and data processing will occur. If a report is based on queries that take a long time to run, or on queries that use data from a data source that you prefer no one access during certain hours, you should run the report as a snapshot.

A report snapshot is stored in a report server database, where it is subsequently retrieved when a user or process (such as a subscription) requests the report. When a report snapshot is updated, it is overwritten with a new instance. The report server does not save previous versions of a report snapshot unless you specifically set options to add it to report history.

Snapshot requirements

Not all reports can be configured to run as a snapshot. You cannot create a snapshot for a report that prompts users for credentials or uses Windows integrated security to get data for the report. If you want to run a parameterized report as a snapshot, you must specify a default parameter to use when creating the snapshot. In contrast with reports that run on demand, it is not possible to specify a different parameter value for a report snapshot once the report is open. Choosing a different parameter value would result in a new report processing request, which is not allowed.

In some cases, configuring an on-demand report to run as a snapshot can deactivate subscriptions. The report server will deactivate existing subscriptions if the report uses query parameters and you select a default value that is different from those used in the subscription. If this occurs, the report server will disable the subscription. To reactivate the subscription, open and then save the subscription. When you open the subscription, the report server updates the subscription parameter values to those specified for the snapshot. For more information, see Manage a subscription.

By default, processing options are set to Use live data. Queries in the report are run each time a user opens the report. To run the report using snapshot data, do the following:

  1. Point to a report in the library.

  2. Click the down arrow, and select Manage processing options.

  3. In Data Refresh Options, click Use snapshot data. If you see "This report can not run from a snapshot because one or more of the data sources credentials are not stored", the report is not configured to run unattended and you must modify the data sources to use stored credentials before setting this option. For instructions, see Schedule report and subscription processing.

  4. In Data Snapshot Options, select Schedule data processing.

  5. Click On a shared schedule if you have an existing shared schedule that you want to use, otherwise click On a custom schedule, and then click Configure.

  6. Choose frequency, schedule, and start and end dates, and then click OK.

  7. In Data Snapshot Options, select Create or update the snapshot when this page is saved if you want to immediately create snapshot data to use with the report, without waiting for the scheduled data processing to occur.

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Set report caching options

A report server can cache a copy of a processed report and return that copy when a user opens the report. To a user, the only evidence available to indicate the report is a cached copy is the date and time that the report ran. If the date or time is not current and the report is not a snapshot, the report was retrieved from cache.

A cached report is created when the first user opens the report. Other users who subsequently open the same report will get the cached copy. If the report is parameterized, a cached copy will be created for every unique combination of parameter values.

A cached report is replaced with a newer version when a user selects the report after the previously cached copy has expired. Reports that are configured to run as cached instances are removed from the cache at regular intervals based on expiration settings. You can set a report's expiration in minutes or at a scheduled time, as determined by the data's immediacy requirement. You cannot delete reports from the cache directly unless you use the SOAP API.

To configure cache expiration, you can use a shared schedule or report-specific schedule. If you use a shared schedule and it is subsequently paused, the cache does not expire while the schedule is inoperative. If the shared schedule is subsequently deleted, a copy of the schedule settings is saved as a report-specific schedule. If a schedule expires or if the scheduling engine is unavailable at a cache expiration date, the report server runs a live report until scheduled operations can be resumed (by either extending the schedule or starting the scheduling service).

Caching can shorten the time required to retrieve a report if the report is large or accessed frequently. Caching is a performance-enhancement technique. The contents of the cache are volatile and can change as reports are added, replaced, or removed. If you require a more predictable caching strategy, you should create a report snapshot.

  1. Point to a report in the library.

  2. Click the down arrow, and select Manage processing options.

  3. In Data Refresh Options, click Use cached data. If you see "This report can not be cached because one or more of the data sources credentials are not stored", the report is not configured to run unattended and you must modify the data sources to use stored credentials before setting this option. For instructions, see Schedule report and subscription processing.

  4. In Cache Options, specify how the cache will expire:

    • Enter a number of minutes after which the cache will expire.

    • Use a shared schedule to clear the cache at times specified in the schedule.

    • Create a custom schedule to clear the cache at a time that you specify.

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Set processing time-out values

You can specify time-out values to set limits on how system resources are used. Report server supports two time-out values:

  • A query time-out value is the number of seconds that the report server waits for a response from the database. This value is stored with the report, in the Timeout element of the report definition. By default, this value is set to 30 seconds. Users who have permission to modify the properties of a published report can reset this value by editing the report definition file.

  • A report execution time-out value is the maximum number of seconds that report processing can continue before it is stopped. This value is initiallly defined at the system level, but you can vary this setting for individual reports. By default, the value is set to 1800 seconds.

Most time-out errors occur during query processing. If you are encountering time-out errors, try increasing the query time-out value. Make sure to adjust the report execution time-out value so that it is larger than the query time-out. The time period should be sufficient to complete both query and report processing.

  1. Point to a report in the library.

  2. Click the down arrow, and select Manage processing options.

  3. In Processing Time-out, click Use site default setting if you want to use the value specified at the report server level. Otherwise, choose Do not time out report processing or Limit report processing in seconds if you want to override that value with no time out or different time out values.

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Set report history options and limits

Report history is a collection of previously run copies of a report. You can use report history to maintain a record of a report over time. Report history is not intended for reports that contain confidential or personal data. For this reason, report history can include only those reports that query a data source using a single set of credentials (either stored credentials or credentials used for unattended report execution) that are available to all users who run a report.

Report history consists of report snapshots: instances of a report that contain layout information and data obtained from an external data source at specific points in time. Each snapshot in report history captures a report as it was when the snapshot was created. If you change the layout or delete the data source, snapshots in report history remain intact.

You can raise and lower report history limits to specify how many report snapshots are kept in report history. Because report snapshot size can vary dramatically, there are no guidelines for specifying a size limit. You can modify report history limits at any time. When report history reaches the maximum limit, older snapshots are removed as new snapshots are added. If you lower the report history limit, the report server deletes older snapshots to conform to lowered limits.

For any given report, you can set properties that determine how report history is generated. You can set any or all of the following options:

  • To allow users to generate report snapshots manually, click Allow report history snapshots to be created manually. Enabling this option causes the Add Snapshot button to appear on the Report History page.

  • To store copies of report execution snapshots, click Store all report data snapshots in report history. A report data is similar to a report history snapshot in composition, except that it is refreshed at scheduled intervals (rather than preserved indefinitely). Clicking this option allows you to maintain all copies of a report data snapshot that are created.

  • To add report snapshots to report history automatically, click Create report history snapshots on a schedules.

  • Point to a report in the library.

  • Click the down arrow, and select Manage processing options.

  • In History Snapshot Options, specify how and when data processing occurs and is saved.

  • In History Snapshot Limits, click Use site default setting if you want to use the value specified at the report server level. Otherwise, choose Do not limit the number of snapshots or Limit number of snapshots to a custom value.

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