image By far, the most popular posting on this site is Visual Studio 2008 & Business Intelligence Development Studio (Troubleshooting).  The post currently has over 60 comments.  It seems that here’s a lot of confusion about ways in which developers and report designers can get the tools they need to create and manage SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports.  If you’re trying to work with the Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) with SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008, or you’re planning to use Report Builder 2.0, that post should point you in the right direction.

So now that SQL Server 2008 R2 has been released, what’s the story for report development?  Fortunately, it’s not quite as confusing.  The primary tool you’ll use for developing reports is Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Report Builder 3.0.  You can download it manually using the link to the Microsoft Download site, or you can install it using ClickOnce by loading your Reporting Services web site (e.g., http://localhost/Reports).  The download is also available as part of the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Feature Pack (along with a wide variety of other tools and utilities).  Report Builder 3.0 supports the creation of reports for both SQL Server 2008 and the R2 version.

If you’re moving to (or testing) the RTM version of SQL Server 2008 R2, Report Builder 3.0 is likely the best way to get acquainted with the new features of this release.  And, thankfully, the migration process should be much simpler than it was for previous versions of SSRS.  A great resource for more information is the MSDN SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services Forum.  Or, if you have any questions, feel free to post them here.