In Visual Studio, I have successfully created my first report and linked it to the database and everything seems to be fine. The tutorial I was watching (by the way, if it OK I would like to give a shout out to it) kind of glossed over what the settings in the project properties should be for:
What are the project settings in SSRS deployment and what do they mean and refer to?
The deployment process requires setting up the TargetServerURL and the TargetServer Version. These are the only two items that I know are correct. The tutorial I have been watching does not go into the other items and does not clarify what they are and what they are used for.
The default settings for OverwriteDatasets and OverwriteDataSources was False and this is probably why my deployment attempt threw a nondescript error. So, now, perhaps if I try again, my deployment will create these folders on the server by force, but I would rather not do this because the database manager has already given me the names of the folders where I should deploy. So, how are these Folders arranged?
You do not want to overwrite data sets or data sources once they have been deployed and configured on the server. By overwriting - if you used windows authentication in your project, but need SQL authentication from the server then every time you deploy that report you have to reconfigure the data source on the server.
The data source and data sets will be created the first time you deploy - and then not updated (if the settings are false) for every deployment after that...and if you are using shared data sources or shared data sets - you definitely do not want to overwrite them as they can have many other settings on the server that would get overwritten (caching, snapshots, credentials, etc...).
TargetDatasetFolder = folder where shared data sets will be created
TargetDataSourceFolder = folder where shared data sources will be created
TargetReportFolder = folder where the reports in this project will be created
TargetReportPartFolder = folder where any report parts will be created
Shared data sets can be setup and created for multiple projects/reports to utilize. This allows for a single defined data set that can be configured to be cached and refreshed. With a shared data set you could create a 'snapshot' of the data every day and utilize that snapshot for all reports.
Shared data sources are utilized so you have a single data source for all reports to utilize - if the server name changes or the database you can change it in one place on the server and all reports utilizing that source will be updated.
Target Report Folder is where you want these reports to be located - if the folder does not exist then the first deployment will create the folder. You can also create subfolders here - as in: Users\Rules\Project which would create a folder named Users - in that folder another folder named Rules - and in that folder a folder named Project - and within that folder all reports in this project.
You want to carefully consider the target report folder - as this will be how you provide access to the reports to specific users and what level of access those users have to the reports.