SQL Server 2019 Reporting Services RC1 now available - here's all that's new

Last year, Microsoft announced SQL Server 2019, its new database management system (DBMS) that helps manage both relational and non-relational databases through a common service. It runs on-premise, in the cloud, and on Azure Stack as well.

Today, the Redmond firm has announced that the first release candidate (RC1) for SQL Server 2019 Reporting Services (SSRS 2019) is now available for download. Previously, Power BI Report Server had been utilized to deliver updates to SQL Server customers. Now, however, the first feature update for the core Reporting Services product has been released as part of this year's release wave.

New features are mostly focused on adaptability and accessibility; these include:

  • Support for hosting your database catalog with Azure SQL Managed Instance
  • Support for Power BI datasets hosted in Power BI Premium
  • Using Azure AD Application Proxy with Reporting Services
  • A new version of Microsoft Report Builder updated for use with SSRS 2019
  • AltText (alternative text) in support of WCAG and 508 compliance for your report elements
  • PDF/UA support for PDF documents (coming soon)
  • Rollup of several security updates and bug fixes previously released in Power BI Report Server

To expand a bit on some of the aforementioned capabilities, Managed Instance is Azure SQL Database's new deployment option that provides "near 100% compatibility" with the most recent SQL Server releases. Currently, however, database credentials will be needed to connect to any Managed Instance. Moving on, customers can connect to Analysis Services models hosted in Power BI Premium using Microsoft Report Builder or SQL Server Data Tools, and then publish reports to SSRS 2019. Stored Windows user IDs and passwords will be required in such cases.

SQL Server 2016 Report Builder will be getting an update fully compatible with 2016, 2017, and 2019 versions of Reporting Services, and supported versions of Power BI Report Server this week as well. Users will be able to connect to Premium datasets and directly enter data into reports as part of the features offered through this release.

Official support for Alternative Text for report elements has also arrived, with report authors now being able to specify text for each element in reports. And finally, some more features that will be available before the product enters general availability, but haven't quite arrived yet, include PDF/UA support for PDF documents and others that will be announced later.

Microsoft recently added support for non-premium datasets for paginated reports in Power BI, and will be introducing more features to the service as well. Similar to what was done by its Analysis Services team, RDL format capabilities for SSRS that are brought to the cloud will be coming on-premise in future releases. For now, you can check out all the new features by downloading SSRS 2019 RC1 through the download center here.

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