Direct Reports

Dynamics AX product-related topics for project-based businesses such as consulting, accounting, advertising, and construction.

Blog - About

About Direct Reports

I'm the Group Program Manager for the Microsoft Dynamics AX engineering team covering Service Industries (including markets such as professional services, construction, architecture and advertising). I've been at Microsoft for over 17 years and was previously a Senior Product Manager for Microsoft Amalga Hospital Information System (HIS), part of Microsoft's Health Solution Group. I also spent 8 years as the Group Program Manager for Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, where my team created and delivered the Microsoft business intelligence and reporting platform for IT Pros, end users and developers as part of SQL Server and Visual Studio. I joined Microsoft after a role as software architect for a4 Health Systems, a hospital software company in my home town of Raleigh, North Carolina.

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  • Direct Reports

    Alien Lanes (Logical and Physical Pagination Rules)

    • 54 Comments
    One of the things I see people getting confused about in Reporting Services is around page sizing. Not setting the correct properties can result in extra blank pages or improper paper orientation. Here are some general guidelines for setting page sizes...
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    Brave Noise (Why was my hair green?)

    • 2 Comments
    It's been over three weeks since I've added a blog entry. You may wonder why I have "gone dark". The fact is, we have been very busy putting the final touches on SQL Server 2005. This point in the product development cycle is exciting, heartbreaking,...
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    Extra Width (Custom Report Items)

    • 3 Comments
    At this year's TechEd, Andrew Bryan of Dundas Software presented a session on Custom Report Items (a new feature of SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services). Several people have asked me to post the code that was shown in the session so I have done so here...
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    What Makes It Go? (New Report Packs)

    • 0 Comments
    We just released two new report packs , one for SharePoint Portal Server and one for Axapta. While I'm personally only responsible for the setup code and work with other teams on the contents, if you have any feedback on them, you are welcome to leave...
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    All Mod Cons (Multilingual Reports with AS2005)

    • 7 Comments
    Based on feedback from a couple of folks, I've decided to make my post titles a bit more descriptive. I'll still use the name of one of the albums in my music collection as the primary title but will also include a description of the actual content of...
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    The Pace is Glacial (Hangman Report)

    • 7 Comments
    There is now another article about the BI Power Hour session that we did at TechEd. I posted the first demo I did a few weeks ago and so, by popular demand, here is the second one, a game of Hangman built entirely in a report. Before I describe how it...
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    Mask (MSDN TV)

    • 2 Comments
    For some reason, I like to pretend that some of you would like to see what I look like. Now is your chance as I have recorded 2 episodes of MSDN TV, Using the New Visual Studio 2005 Report Controls and Report Authoring Tips and Tricks . Enjoy!
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    Ben Hur (New Webcast)

    • 0 Comments
    I did a TechNet Webcast last week called SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services: Management and Configuration . It presents a walkthrough of the management side of Reporting Services, including some of the new SQL 2005 features in this area. You can view...
  • Direct Reports

    Everything Falls Apart (Report Manager as Report)

    • 5 Comments
    I finally got around to seeing the movie Adaptation . For those of you who didn't get to see it, it's a movie by Charlie Kaufman , the writer of Being John Malkovich . I've wanted to see it since it came out but never got around to it. Without giving...
  • Direct Reports

    London 0 Hull 4 (TechEd Recap)

    • 1 Comments
    Well, I'm finished with my TechEd sessions. I had Report Server Management and Configuration today, the "BI Power Hour" yesterday, and the Report Controls on Tuesday. If you weren't able to attend the power Hour, you really missed a show - we had 5 presenters...
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    The Question Is No (TechEd Fashion)

    • 14 Comments
    It's been hard to blog from TechEd as the wireless network at the show and the network connection in my hotel room have both been extremely spotty. Lots of stuff going on today, including Paul's announcement that Reporting Services will be available in...
  • Direct Reports

    That's the Long and Short of It (TechEd Begins)

    • 0 Comments
    I arrived in sunny (not) Orlando last night. Orlando never changes between times I am here, it just gets bigger. Today, I am doing a preview of my management session at something called Academic Days at TechEd . It's a good thing as I have discovered...
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    Up A Tree (Moving to SQL 2005 RS)

    • 3 Comments
    Lots of people ask me about what is coming in the next release of SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services. I put together a white paper a few months back and it finally got posted to the web last week. There are a couple of things that aren't described there...
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    Ask Me Tomorrow (New RS TechNet Site)

    • 0 Comments
    There is a cool new TechNet site available that has a nice aggregation of Reporting Services content. Check it out .
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    Last Splash (Reporting Services Scripter)

    • 0 Comments
    Jasper Smith has created a cool tool called Reporting Services Scripter that creates scripts from an existing Reporting Services server that you can use to apply to a new server. We have some new scripting functionality in the release of SQL Server 2005...
  • Direct Reports

    Perfect From Now On (Custom Chart Legends)

    • 13 Comments
    While the legend built into Reporting Services charts is relatively easy to use, it lacks some of the flexibility that you might like to have. One issue is that it takes up space within the chart boundaries, making the plot area smaller as the number...
  • Direct Reports

    Dig Me Out (Resetting Report Page Numbers)

    • 9 Comments
    Chris hasn't gotten a chance to update his Sleazy Hacks Weblog so I thought I would post this in the meantime. Resetting the page number in a report isn’t natively supported in Reporting Services, but there is a partial workaround. First, add this...
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    Pinkerton (ReportViewer Starter Kit)

    • 0 Comments
    Another great resource for those of you who want to try out the new report controls in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2. Check out the Web Log Analyzer Starter Kit at http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/downloads/starterkits/ .
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    Three Imaginary Boys (Static Matrix Column Headers)

    • 2 Comments
    If you are using the matrix control in Reporting Services, you may want to create a static heading over top of your column headers. For example: You might first try putting a text box on the body above the matrix. But if you don't know how many columns...
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    Treasure (RS2005 Article)

    • 6 Comments
    There a new article about upcoming release of Reporting Services from Steven Swoyer on the TDWI site. The only real quibble I have is with the "SQL-only" FUD from our competitors at the bottom of the article. As many of our customers know, Reporting Services...
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    No Pocky for Kity (Custom Aggregates)

    • 8 Comments
    While SQL Server Reporting Services supports a variety of built-in aggregates , one of the things that people ask for is the ability to define custom aggregates. While this is not directly supported in RDL, there is a trick you can do using the <Code>...
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    Daydream Nation (Teo's Articles)

    • 0 Comments
    One of the Reporting Services authors, Teo Lachev, has written an article on the new Report Builder feature in SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services. In addition, his book, Reporting Services in Action , is an excellent guide for those of you looking to...
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    Pleased to Meet Me (BI Webcasts)

    • 0 Comments
    My marketing guys (who are really nice and not sleazy at all) would like me to encourage you to register for the SQL Server 2005 BI Webcast Series . I think I even will be doing a couple of them but I'm not sure which ones.
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    The Girl who Runs the Beat Hotel (ReportViewer docs)

    • 2 Comments
    One of the cool new things in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 is the new Report Viewer controls. These controls make it easy to embed rich Reporting Services reports in your WinForms and ASP.NET applications. As one of the goals was to deeply integrate them...
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    Brotherhood (What is a CTP?)

    • 2 Comments
    So, what's a CTP anyway? Recently, we announced that instead of releasing SQL Server 2005 Beta 3, we would move to a model of releasing multiple CTPs (Community Technology Preview) up until the final release of the product later this year. But what...
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