SSRS 2016 Data Preview Feature

2016 has been a busy year for me. In addition to consulting for several customers. I have my two big volunteer jobs as a LaunchCode mentor and PASS virtual chapter co-leader.  And just ask my five grandkids, I am a fun grandmother as well.

Somehow, I found time to write a book about SSRS 2016 for Apress the first part of the year. Once that was done, I began creating a course for Pluralsight on SSRS 2016 Mobile Reports. I’ll update this page once the course is published

I’m happy that Microsoft has invested so much in SSRS in the 2016 release. It was way overdue, and I had wondered about the future of SSRS. Would it eventually be deprecated in a future version of SQL Server? SSRS 2016 is an exciting release with many new features like Mobile Reports, and reboots of existing features such as the new web portal that replaces Report Manager.

One of the features that took me by surprise is the ability to view data directly from a shared dataset. This feature is called Data Preview, and is available to anyone who has permission to view the dataset and the security at the data source works out. I’m not sure how often shared datasets have been used in previous versions of SSRS. They were not actually needed in many cases, and I generally recommended them for datasets that would be frequently reused such as common parameter lists. This advice will have to change with 2016, because shared datasets are required for the new KPI reports and Mobile Reports.  Stored credentials will be used in the data sources in many cases, because Kerberos delegation is not supported yet with Mobile Reports.


My first thought, when I realized that data could be seen from the dataset, was to just remove permissions from report users who did not need administrative type rights, but that breaks the reports. Report users cannot run reports that use shared datasets unless they have permission to view the datasets.

What I recommend is to create multiple folders for datasets and locate them within the report folders. That way the report users will not see datasets unless they already have rights to run the reports. You can also create one datasets folder and apply permissions to each individual dataset. This seems unmanageable to me, so I don’t recommend it.

If you haven’t taken SQL Server 2016 for a test drive, be sure to check it out, especially the new Mobile Report feature. I am happy with how it has turned out, but the new data preview feature was quite a surprise.

I want to start 2017 out learning new things. I am going to concentrate on Azure and HDInsight at the beginning of the year. I don’t have any contracts signed for new books or courses at this point, but I suspect that will change soon.

About Kathi Kellenberger

I am the editor of the online journal Simple Talk. I love talking about SQL Server to anyone who will listen, just ask my seven year old granddaughter. I love to write and teach. I am so humbled and honored to say I am a Data Platform MVP, a volunteer with LaunchCode and co-leader of PASS Women in Technology Virtual Group.
This entry was posted in Database Administration, Security, SSRS. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s