Adding, Modifying, and Deleting Linked Reports
A linked report wraps an existing report with a different set of parameter values or properties. A linked report consists of a reference to the report definition of an existing report, plus any settings and properties that you define for the linked report. Linked reports are created in Report Manager or Management Studio, and are based on existing reports already published to a report server. You can create multiple linked reports from a published report. You cannot create a linked report from another linked report.
Creating Linked Reports
To create a linked report, choose an existing report on which to base the linked report. The report that you choose determines the linked report content and layout. If the base report uses parameters, you can set the parameter value in the linked report to a value that is different from that specified in the base report. For more information about parameters, see Setting Parameter Properties for a Published Report.
Not all published reports can be used as a basis for a linked report. Content managers or report server administrators can prevent specific users or groups from creating linked reports by removing the "Create linked reports" task from the role assignments that are in effect for a given report.
When creating a linked report, you can set the following properties and settings that are specific to your linked report:
- Name and Description. You can define a different name and description to distinguish a linked report from the existing report.
- Location. You can put the linked report in a folder that is different from the folder that contains the original report.
- Parameters. You can specify a set of parameter values to use with the linked report. The capability of having different parameter values for the report is typically the reason why you may want to define a linked report in the first place.
- Report execution and Report history. You can set report execution and report history properties that vary from those set on the original report.
- Security. You can define role assignments that control access to the linked report.
- Subscriptions. The subscriptions defined for a linked report are independent of those defined for the report upon which it is based.
The only properties that you cannot set on a linked report are data source properties. A linked report always uses the data source properties that are defined for the existing report. This is because the existing report provides the report definition. The report definition includes data source connection information, the query that retrieves report data, and report layout.
Modifying a Linked Report
After you create a linked report, you can set its properties just as you would modify the properties of any other report: by changing permissions, parameters, or properties. You can also change the link to point to a different report definition.
Depending on your changes, the query that obtains the data and the layout may be different from the previous report definition. As long as the revisions do not invalidate the existing settings of the linked report, the linked report continues to run using the new definition.
You can move, rename, and delete the linked report without affecting the report upon which it is based.
To place a linked report in a different folder, you must have permission to add content to that folder (meaning, you must be a member of the Publisher role or Content Manager role for the target folder).
Deleting a Linked Report
There are no special considerations for deleting a linked report. You can follow the same steps that you use to delete any item. However, if you delete the report definition on which linked reports are based, all linked reports related to the report definition become invalid. If this occurs, you must do one of the following:
- Delete the linked report item.
- Choose another report definition as the basis for the linked report.
Deleting the linked report item removes all information about it from the report server database, including report history and any subscription to that report.
If you choose another report definition as the basis for the linked report, be sure to select a report definition that meets the following criteria:
- It must be located in the same folder as the original report. For example, if the original report was located at \Home\AdventureWorksReports, the new report definition must also be at \Home\AdventureWorksReports.
- If the original report definition had parameters, the new report definition should have the same parameter definition, including the same data type, name, length, and source.
To verify the name or location of the base report or to choose a different report definition, open the General Properties page of a linked report. For more information about how to update the report definition for a linked report, see Choose Link Page (Report Manager).
Report history is retained for linked reports as long as the item exists, even if the linked report is no longer valid. If you choose another report definition for the linked report, all subsequent report history includes layout and data from the updated report definition. All previous report history will have the layout and data from the previous report definition.