Reporting in Configuration Manager 2007 is integrated into the Configuration Manager console. Reports are secured Configuration Manager objects that you can create and manage in the Configuration Manager console. Many predefined reports are provided with Configuration Manager, and additional reports can be created to fit your needs. The Object Wizard can be used to import reports that are created at another site. You can run reports by using Report Viewer, which is a browser-based application that you can start either from within the Configuration Manager console or by using a URL with Internet Explorer, which allows for access to reports by any user with the appropriate security rights. For more information, see About Report Viewer. Like other Configuration Manager objects, you must have the appropriate credentials to create, modify, delete, view, or run reports.

The Report Viewer files are located on a reporting point, which is a Configuration Manager site system role. The reporting point provides access to reports at the site and communicates directly with the site database; therefore, they can be installed only on a primary site. Multiple reporting points can be created to balance the network load for viewing reports. For more information, see About Reporting Points.

Reports are not propagated up or down the Configuration Manager hierarchy; they run only against the site's database of the site on which they are created. However, because primary sites contain inventory data from child sites, when a report retrieves data from a primary site's database, it might retrieve data that was forwarded from a child site.

Report Types

Configuration Manager 2007 provides many predefined reports. Custom reports can be created if the predefined reports do not retrieve the desired data, and supplemental reports are created outside of Configuration Manager and are available from Report Viewer.

Predefined Reports

Configuration Manager 2007 provides a number of predefined reports that can be used to gather important information from the site database. Administrators can create, manage, and secure reports by using the Configuration Manager console. Administrators and other report users, such as help desk specialists or business decision-makers, can run reports by using Report Viewer, which is a browser-based application that runs with Microsoft Internet Explorer. You can create and administer reports in the secure environment of the Configuration Manager console, and end users can run reports without the need to access a console. A number of predefined reports are designated to appear on the Computer Details page of Report Viewer. If you clear the Display in computer details check box, modify the SQL statement, or modify a report prompt for a predefined report, the report might not work as intended.

Custom Reports

When the predefined reports do not retrieve the desired data, custom reports can be created either by copying and modifying predefined reports or by creating new reports. When modifying the properties of a predefined report, you can no longer use the original report as designed. If you reinstall predefined reports, from an import or as part of a product upgrade, you lose your changes. To keep the original report intact, always make a copy of the predefined report, rename it, and then modify the new report to better meet your needs. To create a new report, you must specify an SQL statement that determines which records are returned when the report is run. For more information, see How to Create a Report.

Supplemental Reports

Reports created outside of Configuration Manager can be copied to a designated folder on a reporting point to extend the reporting capabilities of the site. These reports will primarily be Active Server Pages (ASP) pages. However, it can be any file that can display by using Internet Explorer 5.0 or later. Because supplemental reports are not secured Configuration Manager objects, any user can view them unless you secure them by using Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) security. For more information, see About Supplemental Reports.

Report Categories

There are many report categories that help to organize reports. Reports can be configured for only one report category. New categories can be created by specifying a unique category when creating or modifying reports. Report categories are case sensitive. When creating a new report and an existing report category is specified it is recommended that the category be selected from the drop-down list. A new category is created when a name is entered in the Category text box that is not identical to an existing category. For a list of the predefined report categories, see Configuration Manager Report Categories.

Creating and Modifying Reports

Creating a new report or modifying a predefined report requires a working knowledge of SQL. When you create a new report, you must specify a category. You can choose an existing category or create a new category. When you create a new category, it is added to the category list. Within a given category, report names must be unique. However, you can use duplicate report names in different categories. Configuration Manager assigns each new report a report ID number, which uniquely identifies the report. The category determines which tree branch the report appears in on the main page of Report Viewer.

You can configure a report to refresh its results automatically at a specified interval. This functionality is especially useful for reports that you include in a dashboard or otherwise use to monitor information that changes frequently. You can also configure a report to display its data as a chart. This functionality is useful for reports that return counts, such as a report that provides a count of computers by network protocol. You can specify a chart title, a title and report column to use for the category (x) axis data, and a title and report column to use for the value (y) axis data. For the value (y) axis data, you should select a column that contains integer data. If you select a column that contains string data, some of the data might be truncated on the chart. You can also specify a default chart type, such as a bar chart. A report user can choose to display the data with a different chart type after the report runs. If a report returns multiple result sets, Report Viewer displays only the first result set as a chart.

To display report data as a chart by using Report Viewer, you must have a licensed copy of Microsoft Office XP Web Components, Microsoft Office 2000 Web Components, or Microsoft Office 2003 Web Components installed on the reporting point site system. The Office Web Components are automatically installed with all Office XP editions, and Office 2000 and Office 2003 Professional, Premium, Developer, and Standard editions. They are not installed with Office 2000, Office 2003 Small Business, or the stand-alone version of Microsoft Office Excel 2000. You must also have a licensed copy of at least one Microsoft Office application installed on the reporting point site system.

Office Web Components is not supported on 64 bit operating systems. If you want to use graphs in reports, use 32 bit operating systems for your reporting points.

Report SQL Statement

The principal element of a report is a Structured Query Language (SQL) statement that defines which data the report gathers and returns as the result set. A result set is a tabular arrangement of the data in columns and rows. A report can also return multiple result sets. The SQL statement in a report does not run directly against the Configuration Manager site database tables. Instead, the SQL statement runs against a set of Microsoft SQL Server views, which point to records in the Configuration Manager site database tables. Each time that you run a report, the information returned consists of data that is current in the database at the time that you run the report. To create new reports by using the Configuration Manager console, you must have a working knowledge of SQL. However, no knowledge of SQL is required to import new reports.

Report Prompts

A report prompt is a report property that you can configure to request a parameter value from the user before running the report. When you include a prompt, the user is prompted to enter a parameter value prior to running the report. You can include more than one prompt in a report; however, each prompt must have a unique name. For more information, see About Report Prompts.

Running Reports

Reports in Configuration Manager 2007 are opened in Report Viewer, which can be opened from the Configuration Manager console or by using a Web browser and entering the unique URL for the report.

You can also use a report's URL to schedule the report to run automatically at a specified time. This functionality can be helpful for reports that can take a long time to run, such as a report that returns a large amount of data. You can schedule such reports to run at a time when your network is less busy. For more information, see How to Schedule Reports and Dashboards. The amount of time that is required to run a report depends on the amount of data that is returned by the report. With large reports, you might experience timeouts. If this happens, the timeout settings can be adjusted. For more information, see the "Adjusting Timeout Settings" section of About Report Viewer.

If a report does not have prompts, Report Viewer starts directly at the Report Results page for the selected report when it runs. For performance reasons, Report Viewer limits the result set that is returned by a report query to 10,000 rows, which can be modified. For more information, see How to Configure the Maximum Rows Returned by a Report Query.

For reports that are likely to return large amounts of data, such as status message reports or client installation reports, it is recommended that you create prompts or linked reports to limit the amount of data that is returned by any one report. By using prompts, you can limit a report to returning status messages only for a particular time period or to returning information about only clients in a specific site. For more information, see About Report Prompts and About Report Links.

Report Viewer cannot display different languages on a single reporting page. You can create individual reports that contain data in only one language. If double-byte character set (DBCS) information is not displayed correctly, you should configure Internet Explorer encoding to Auto-Select. Right-click anywhere in Report Viewer, point to Encoding, and then click Auto-Select. This overrides other encoding selections. Reports that are opened within the Configuration Manager console use the default encoding setting and cannot be modified from the console.

Using Report Data

When you run a report, there are several ways that you can use the report data in another application or offline. You can use the menu bar commands on the Report Results page to perform the following tasks:

  • Print the report data.

  • Copy the report data to the Clipboard.

  • Display the report data as a chart (for reports configured to do so).

  • Export the report data as a comma-delimited file. (Exporting report data is different from exporting report definitions.)

  • Add the report URL to your list of favorites.

  • Send the URL for the report by using e-mail. (The recipient must have Read permission for the report and be a member of the SMS Reporting Users group to run the report.)

A report can return multiple result sets (for example, when you include more than one SELECT clause or a COMPUTE clause in an SQL statement). If a report is configured to display as a chart and the report returns more than one result set, Report Viewer displays only the first result set as a chart. If you print a report that returns multiple result sets, copy it to the Clipboard, or export it to a comma-delimited file, all result sets are included.

You can sort the data within a result set by clicking a column heading. If the report has multiple result sets, you can sort the data in each result set independently. You can sort only by using one column at a time.

If a report has links to a target, link icons appear to the left of each row of data when you run the report in Report Viewer. When you click a link icon, the target opens in the same window. If a report has links to a target and returns multiple result sets, the same target is used for all result sets. For more information, see About Report Links.

Exporting and Importing Reports

Reports in Configuration Manager 2007 can be exported by using the Export Object Wizard, which creates a Managed Object Format (MOF) file that can then be imported at another site. This can be useful when importing reports that have been downloaded from the Internet or created by someone else in the organization. For more information about exporting and importing reports, see About Exporting and Importing Reports.

Scheduling Reports

Report Viewer generates a unique URL for each report and dashboard that you run. The URL contains the report ID and the variable names that you used to run the report. You can use the URL to schedule a report or dashboard to run (or to run and export the data to a file) at a specified interval by configuring the Scheduled Tasks feature of your operating system to start Internet Explorer with a URL. For more information, see How to Schedule Reports and Dashboards.

Deleting Reports

When a report is deleted in Configuration Manager 2007, the report object is removed from the site database, resulting in the following changes to the report's status:

  • It no longer appears in the report list in the Configuration Manager console or Report Viewer.

  • It no longer appears in dashboards in which it was included.

  • It is no longer available to source reports that use the deleted report as the target for a link. The report link in the source report no longer works when the target report is deleted, and the link should be removed or reconfigured.

For the steps to delete a report, see How to Delete a Report.

See Also