There are two main paradigms for delivering the reports to your users in Reporting Services. The first is to use the default Web site within Report Manager, as we have been doing. The other is for the developers to use the SOAP to connect to the Web site and retrieve reports. In some cases, you will employ both. There is also an "object model" within the Windows Management Interface (WMI) that your developers can use to call the service and preview reports.
If you are using Reporting Services as part of a portal, you might be tempted to use Report Manager. I have found that after a period of time, the site becomes difficult to navigate. Any enterprise-level application will normally use SOAP or WMI models to display the reports.
Users can also subscribe to a report, which means that the report is delivered to them on a file share or through e-mail rather than the user connecting to the server via the Web or through an application. Users can set and manage their own subscription using Report Manager.
The developers can also create data-driven subscriptions that run a query to determine the subscription information. As the DBA, you can create a subscription for users from SQL Server Management Studio, by expanding the folder that contains the report and right-clicking the Subscriptions folder underneath it. The report must have a data source that uses stored credentials or no credentials. If you send the subscription via e-mail, the Report Server needs to have the e-mail information filled out as we did earlier in the chapter.
The reports can be scheduled for the subscriptions, too. You can use the Shared Schedules section of Report Manager or the object with the same name in SQL Server Management Studio.