Bob's SQL Reporting Services Blog

Notes, tips, rants, and ruminations on SQL Reporting Services, and Report Builder in particular.

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  • Blog Post: Create short lists using the LookupSet function

    Sometimes you have a short list of values that you really don't want to show on individual rows; you'd rather just concatenate them into a list, separated by commas, and put them all in a single row. For example, suppose instead of listing the states in each U.S. Census region each on their own row...
  • Blog Post: TechEd session: Tips and tricks for building rich reports

    Here's a recording of my TechEd 2012 North America session last week in Orlando: Tips and Tricks For Building Rich Reports The entire session is based on Report Builder 3.0. All content is relevant to both SQL 2008 R2 and SQL 2012. Topics covered: Use a tablix to organize data how you...
  • Blog Post: When and why the primary entity changes when using a report model

    Got a few questions lately on this subject, so I thought I’d post some additional info that may be helpful. First, a few related links that may be partially helpful: The philosophy behind Report Builder data navigation (blog post) Exploring the Primary Entity and Its Related Data (MSDN...
  • Blog Post: Add Excel-like "color scale" conditional formatting to your reports

    I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time, and it looks like David Lean beat me to it earlier this year by posting an incredibly thorough four-part discussion of how to do conditional formatting in Reporting Services . I’ve played with his sample code a bit and put together a variation on his theme...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 SP1 available now with important Report Builder 2.0 updates

    SQL Server 2008 SP1 is now available, and includes some important updates related to Report Builder 2.0: - RB 2.0 can now be deployed directly from the report server using ClickOnce. You can also configure whether RB 1.0 or RB 2.0 is launched from the Report Manager and SharePoint UI. - An important...
  • Blog Post: Help RB 2.0 users find and use shared data sources

    Report Builder 2.0 makes it easy for business users to browse for and use centrally-defined and managed data sources. It does this by supporting direct connection to a report server as part of the design experience. It also maintains a list of recently-used data sources that show up at the top of the...
  • Blog Post: What is that extra column of 'AB.gAAAA=' values when I run a report model query?

    Most people using Report Builder 2.0 with a report model soon ask the question, what is that extra column I get back with strange values like “AC8AAAA=” in it? Answer: It's an entity key value . If you’re going to create a group on that entity in your report, you should use this field as the group...
  • Blog Post: How to build a Clickthrough link in Report Builder 2.0

    As I mentioned in a previous post , due to resource constraints in this release, Report Builder 2.0 is not a strict superset of RB 2005/1.0. One of the features missing from RB 2.0 is automatic creation of Clickthrough links . You can still get them, of course, by creating the basics of your report in...
  • Blog Post: Report Builder 2.0: Whither report models?

    Just a quick post to answer the inevitable question when those familiar with Report Builder 2005/1.0 start playing with Report Builder 2.0 : Whither report models? The short answer is that they are still available as a data source type, and the report model query designer is included as well, so...
  • Blog Post: Sorting the values in parameter dropdowns in Report Builder

    In SQL 2005 the semantic queries generated by Report Builder do not support sorting. This is not a problem in the report itself, because all sorting is defined and implemented in the report definition instead of the query. However, for parameter dropdowns there is currently no solution: if the query...
  • Blog Post: Requiring Report Builder users to choose a perspective

    Some customers have report models that are large enough they do not expect any user to ever request the entire model, and would actually prefer to disallow that option, and require them to choose a perspective instead. There is an undocumented and unsupported feature that provides this behavior in the...
  • Blog Post: Launching Report Builder from the command line

    A number of people have asked if it is possible to launch RB from the command line. While it is in fact possible, it is an unsupported feature in SQL Server 2005. That said, here's how to do it. You just need to specify what report server to connect to, like this: ReportBuilder.exe /s=http://mybox...
  • Blog Post: Using that little checkbox in the Report Builder filter dialog

    The Filter dialog in Report Builder has a little checkbox near the bottom that many users have asked about. The checkbox label says, "When adding a new condition, apply to all data in my report." The effect of selecting this checkbox is that when subsequent fields are added to your filter, and those...
  • Blog Post: I want to reference a parameter (twice!) in a formula filter condition

    In this release of Report Builder there is no direct support for referencing parameters in the Formula dialog. They will show up if you edit a prompted filter condition as a formula, but there is no way to directly insert a parameter reference. However, with a little trickery and relying on some...
  • Blog Post: Enforcing timeouts on Report Builder queries

    I've attached a sample C# project illustrating how to create a custom data processing extension ( more info ) that enforces a maximum timeout on any SQL queries submitted to it, including those generated from Report Builder. To try it out: Open and build the attached C# project in VS. Copy...
  • Blog Post: How to enable Report Builder for non-domain users

    Report Builder uses a client technology called ClickOnce to download and launch the application files. This component runs outside of Internet Explorer, so it cannot leverage any credentials that may have been collected by IE to access the report server. It can only access and download the Report Builder...
  • Blog Post: Adding parameters (prompts) to a Report Builder report

    You easily can add basic parameters to a Report Builder report using the Filter dialog. For example, to let the user choose which year to view sales data for, add an Order Year filter condition to your report filter, then, instead of specifying a value, click the "Order Year" label on the left side of...
  • Blog Post: Report Builder launch parameters

    To launch Report Builder, use one of the following URLs (also documented on MSDN ): http://<servername>/reportserver/reportbuilder/reportbuilder.application (Full Trust) http://<servername>/reportserver/reportbuilder/reportbuilderlocalintranet.application (LocalIntranet permissions only...
  • Blog Post: Grokking Report Builder Queries: This is NOT your mother's SQL!

    IT People and Report Builder The natural inclination when IT people see and start to use Report Builder is that they immediately try think of the entire experience in terms of the underlying SQL statements -- in particular the type of SQL statements they are used to writing. Most immediately start to...
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