Conditional E-mails from SQL Server Reporting Services

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a great reporting tool, especially its ability to schedule reports to be sent out via e-mail. But one thing nobody wants is useless e-mails flooding their inbox. Some of the reports I’ve built using SSRS list problem data that needs to be cleaned up. I don’t want those reports getting sent out every day, even when they’re empty. I’m going to show you the method I used to get SSRS to only send a report under the correct circumstances.

Note: This method is not officially supported by Microsoft and involves directly modifying SQL Server Agent jobs that are created by SSRS. Also, if your version of SSRS supports data-driven subscriptions there’s a better way to do this, which you can read about here.

1. Schedule the report

First, create and schedule the report. SSRS creates a SQL Server Agent job to run the scheduled report, and you are going to modify that job.

2. Find the job id

SSRS uses a GUID as the name of the SQL Server Agent job it creates for each scheduled report. You need to identify which job is the one you need.

To do this, connect to the server hosting the SSRS database in SQL Management Studio. The default database name for SSRS is ReportServer. The following query will return a list of all scheduled reports by name.

SELECT c.Name, s.ScheduleID, s.SubscriptionID
    FROM [ReportSchedule] AS s
    INNER JOIN [Catalog] AS c ON c.ItemID = s.ReportID

The ScheduleID field for each row is the job name used for each scheduled report.

3. Edit the job in SQL Server Agent

Now that you know the name of the SQL Server Agent job you need to modify, find it in the tree view in Management Studio. Right click and bring up the job’s properties, then go to the steps section. There will be one step there named with the same GUID and “_step_1” at the end. Edit that step, and the command text will look something like this:

exec [ReportServer].dbo.AddEvent @EventType='TimedSubscription', @EventData='SomeGuid'

The GUID listed for @EventData should match the SubscriptionID listed for the report in the second step.

Modify the T-SQL in this step like this to add your condition:

IF <CONDITION>
BEGIN
    exec [ReportServer].dbo.AddEvent @EventType='TimedSubscription', @EventData='SomeGuid'
END

Save the changes and you’re almost done. There is only one more thing to check.

4. Check Security Settings

The SQL Server Agent runs its jobs as the NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService account, so you will need to make sure that account has rights to query your database. The easiest way to do this is to modify the security for the account at the server level and configure a user mapping to your database granting the db_datareader role. Exactly how to do this differs depending on what version of SQL Server you’re using, so it’s probably better that I don’t try to document the specifics.

At this point, you are all set. The job will still run according to its original schedule, but will only send a report if your condition evaluates to true.

Warning: One important caveat to this method is that SSRS has no idea that you’ve edited the SQL Server Agent job, so if anyone modifies the report schedule via SSRS the changes you made will be overwritten.

Example

I had a table that was populated nightly by a script that scanned servers on the network. Any time a new server showed up on the network I would need to manually assign it to a category. I created a report that would list all the servers that did not yet have a category, and set it up so that it would only send when servers like that existed. Here is what the code looked like:

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM Servers WHERE Category_Id IS NULL) THEN
BEGIN
    exec [ReportServer].dbo.AddEvent @EventType='TimedSubscription', @EventData='SomeGuid'
END

This method for conditionally sending SSRS reports lets you create automated alerts to monitor system health and stability. It’s a great trick for any DevOps engineer to have in his or her tool belt.

By |2017-02-21T13:59:05+00:00May 17th, 2015|Technology|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Galina Z March 1, 2018 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    This is an excellent trick! Thank you so much.
    The only thing I’m confused about, how Adam can be one of the 10 types of people, if he is a person, not a type.

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