A big part of Reporting Services appeal is its rock-bottom price: Its free to current SQL Server 2000 customers who run it on the same server as their database. Running the product on another server entails purchasing an additional SQL Server 2000 license. In addition, customers must license at least one Visual Studio tool for each report author. An 120-day evaluation copy of Reporting Services can be downloaded here.
"We can enter at a lower cost of ownership to end users by utilizing the Reporting Services framework instead of building our own for offering those core components [of writing and distributing reports]," Peccerillo said.
Reporting Services features an integrated environment within which customers can author, generate and view reports based on data stored in Microsofts SQL Server database and other major databases that have ODBC drivers and OLE data providers, including Oracle, Ingres and IBMs DB2.