SQL Reporting Services - Absolute Beginner Questions

I need to learn to build reports using SQL Reporting Services.  I learn best by jumping in with both feet.

My initial searches for online tutorials show some great informaiton, but they already assume I know some stuff I haven't learned yet.  I'm hoping there is an expert here who can answer a few absolute beginner questions, to get me past the "zero knowledge" hump.

1. I'll be using Visual Studio 2005 (VB.NET) but when I go to File -> New Project, I don't see anything about Reporting Services.  Do I need to install something first?  How do I begin my first project?

2. I currently have some power users who develop some of their own Crystal Reports.  Are there other "report creation" or "report design" tools, they can use to create reports in SQL Reporting Services... without me having to purchase the entire Visual Studio .NET suite for each of my power users?
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Further to that:

1) In Visual Studio 2005 the project should be displayed under File - New - Project - Business Intelligence Projects - Report Server Project. If using SQL Server 2000 then reporting services is a separate install (I had to call Microsoft to obtain the CD). If using SQL Server 2005 then it should show up already providing reporting services was chosen as a component to install during the initial SQL Server 2005 install

2) http://www.microsoft.com/sql/technologies/reporting/faq.mspx - Under the Report Design heading - "Do I need Visual Studio 2005 to design reports?" - answer is no for SQL Server 2005 as it comes with Business Intelligence Development Studio. Again, it may or may not show depending on if it was chosen as a component to install during the initial SQL Server 2005 install.


What version of SQL Server is being used - 2000 or 2005?
Reporting Services also has the Report Builder. This is a web application that your power users can use to create reports. This isn't as powerful as BIDS or Crystal, but would be worth a look.
http://www.microsoft.com/sql/technologies/reporting/default.mspx has many guided tours, webcasts, demos, etc.

You need to install the product to have access to the report templates, as mentioned above.

// Dave
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