RSS for Periodic Report Distribution?

I just had an epiphany!  (So everyone, go ahead and send me 50 links that I personally have yet to run across where others have already suggested this. :)

I’ve always wanted to review key numbers related to my company’s permformance on a periodic basis; i.e. each day, each week, and each month, etc.  I know this is needed by almost every person in almost every company. One method is to create an “intranet dashboard.“  But I find I am personally more projected-focused and don’t look at my dashboard consistently enough.  Another is to send an email, but then I have to “manage“ those emails in additional to all my other emails; yuck!

My epiphany was to create a single RSS feed for periodic report distribution.  When the report server generates the report, it would get pulled down by my SharpReader and a Outlook-style notification pop-up would tell me about it if I’m at the PC otherwise next time I look at my reader I’ll see the new report and be able to review it.  There would be no need for me to manage those reports because they’d all be on the feed and stay there until my configured expire date, which could be different for daily, weekly, and monthly reports.  If I wanted a report that had dropped off my reader, I’d just go run the report like I currently do today.

Implementation wise, there would just be an “item” table in a SQL Server database where generated reports would be dumped by scheduled tasks.  The item table could have a “category” field that would also allow subset feeds for each category.  Super simple.

Is this idea cool or what?  :-)  Maybe I should track down the SQL Server Reporting Services guys and ask them to consider for v1.1?  Or maybe some SQL Server guru somewhere could just write a custom output format and custom delivery target and publish an article somewhere?

2 Replies to “RSS for Periodic Report Distribution?”

  1. I’ve been trying to write an RSS feed from Excel. So I can use Newsgator to read the http file links all of last week, and I sent microsoft suggestions for templates a week ago, so I could use Outlook and newsgator to read feeds, that I’m puting out as reports stored that I overwrite weekly. I’ve been using Excel’s ability to open outlook and build a dynamic email that reads the RSS feed to generate auto-email posting that is also send to them to be able to access that stuff. So I have two ways of doing that.. and you’ll notice if you look on MSDN, microsoft covers an article that is all about blogs and RSS. I found Outlook is not very good about building an HTML email. And Newsgator drop in for outlook, will not read atom.xml feeds. But what happens is that newsgator will read an RSS feed that is on the local file system. I have some excel macros that generate the Rss feed, but saving that from Excel, even in xlMSDOSText format, will not build the feed file correctly under office 2000. Office 2003, which has .XML framework may have this ability, but I don’t have the luxury of using it at work. So I’m stuck trying to figure out other ways to dynamically build RSS feed, into one file, for links that change.. much the way rss feed gets created, but trying to use vb and Excel to do, because I don’t wanna do it by hand each week, because my auto email doesn’t work. I’m assuming you’d like to use other apps that either excel or outlook, newsgator will allow you to comment on your feeds, and that is stored just like emails in a folder for your feed.


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