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Training Site Owners, Citizen Developers, and Higher Level Users of SharePoint 2010 in the SQL Server Reporting Feature Makes Sense

In the prior post to this blog we made a case for SharePoint 2010 Reporting Services as a particularly high value feature. To summarize, enterprises can certainly benefit from availing of SQL Server Reporting Services, which are based on XML, and, therefore, can be displayed (at least in raw form) with any of a very wide set of commonly available web browser clients. The challenge, however, is how to package this database information in a manner that permits these very low cost web browser clients to display highly intelligible reports, rather than simply raw XML data. At least 3 of the available options are accompanied by complexity and comparatively high cost of development. Regardless of whether the choice is to use CSS, XSLT, or Javascript, specialized skills are required, as well as a project management methodology that will provide a sponsoring organization with documentation and a method of reproducing solutions, as required.

In fact, there is at least a 4th alternative — Reporting Services for SharePoint — which is comparatively much less expensive to develop, manage and maintain. Of course, this alternative cannot be used without a computing platform built on SharePoint. Therefore, it makes sense to implement SharePoint 2010 where there is a genuine need for regular publishing of information stored in SQL Server databases. Further, it makes sense to promote the use of the SharePoint computing platform by users from LOB organizations and enterprise IT, to effectively drive adoption of SharePoint computing methods by these users.

Training site owners, Gartner’s Citizen Developers (power users high on enthusiasm, but low on programming skills), and higher level users of SharePoint (administrators, developers, architects) on how to use Reporting Services for SharePoint 2010, therefore, makes a lot of sense. Certainly, in person training classes can be an effective method of educating these people on Reporting Services for SharePoint 2010. Nevertheless, there is almost universal agreement that any training classes in technologies like this one need to be supplemented with training assets that can be exposed to trained users to, effectively, refresh understanding of concepts and methods. Survey information indicates a very low retention rate for rote technical training; therefore, it makes sense to provision training assets that can be used, repeatedly and as required to refresh user understanding of required skills.

Rehmani Consulting, Inc produces a help system for SharePoint, VisualSP® as well as a very large set of video training course, all of which are published on SharePoint-Videos dot com. Our help system is used to deliver our video training content, which is available on demand, repeatable and in-context within computing procedure work environments.

In the next post to this blog we will take a look at applications of Reporting Services for SharePoint 2010 for business intelligence (BI) gathering purposes.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved
on behalf of Rehmani Consulting, Inc.