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What’s new for SQL Server 2019 Reporting Services RC1

Headshot of article author Christopher Finlan

We are pleased to announce the first release candidate of SQL Server 2019 Reporting Services is now available in the download center.  While the team has previously released several updates for SQL Server customers via Power BI Report Server, this is the first feature update to the core SQL Server Reporting Services product for the 2019 release wave.

Download SQL Server 2019 Reporting Services

With this release, we’ve added new features to help customers meet their changing business needs around cloud-readiness 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

Azure SQL Managed Instance support

Managed instance is a new deployment option of Azure SQL Database, providing near 100% compatibility with the latest SQL Server release.  Now, for the first time, you may use a Managed Instance to host your database catalog used for SQL Server Reporting Services that is hosted either in a VM or in your data center.  Please note that support is limited to using database credentials for the connection to SQL MI.


Power BI Premium dataset support

In March, the Power BI team announced support for connectivity via the XMLA endpoint to Analysis Services models hosted in Premium workspaces.  For the first time, customers can connect to those models using either Microsoft Report Builder or SQL Server Data Tools and publish those reports to SSRS 2019 using the SQL Server Analysis Services connectivity option.  Users will need to use a stored Windows Username/Password to enable the scenario.


Microsoft Report Builder update

Later this week, we’ll have an update to the SQL Server 2016 Report Builder release.  This release updates all existing installs of that product.  It is fully compatible with the 2016, 2017, and 2019 versions of Reporting Services, along with all released and supported versions of Power BI Report Server.  New features include the ability to connect to a Power BI Premium dataset and enter data directly in a report.


AltText (alternative text) support for report elements

Meeting customers accessibility needs is an important part of the software development process here at Microsoft.  We’ve enhanced several accessibility items for report authors and viewers in this release, including official support for Alternative Text for report elements.  Using tooltips, authors may specify text for each element on the report and have this properly identified by screen reader technology as such.


Beyond what we’ve called out here, some additional features will be available prior to our GA release, including PDF/UA support for PDF documents.  We will announce those as soon as they are available.

As many of you know, we recently released paginated reports in Power BI, and are continuing to add more features there.  We continue to see Reporting Services as a key part of the SQL Server value proposition, and much like the Analysis Services team has done in this 2019 release, we’ll look to bring new RDL capabilities introduced in the cloud to the on-premises product in future releases.

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