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 expression. This is especially important if you’re going to create Clickthrough links, because those key values will be used to filter the target report, and filters on keys usually have better performance.

Comments (7)

  1. idybil says:

    Hello Bob’s,  thanks for this anwser, I finally know why the extra column appears.

    But, is it possible to hide it by some kind of settings in the report model or report builder ?

    Because report builder at our place is used by end-users and a lot of them are very confused about it, they don’t pick the right column, execute the report and found the "Ab.gaaa="


  2. Exigy says:


    Im having the same issue. For user simplicity we would like this column not to be auto-generated, or at least not shown.

    Is there a solution for this please?

  3. Erin says:

    I am in same boat and need help really urgent, someone help please,,,,,,,

  4. Brannon says:

    If you drill down to the lowest level of the entity there will be a "<field> code" and a "<field> name".  The code is the entity key value and the name is the field value.  I think this is the way it works.

  5. latte says:

    what if your models are only used to create simple table detail reports. Our users never use report builder for grouping and summarizing data. This new release 3.0 really makes it difficult to create a simple table with the wizard (the wizard is convenient when you have 30 fields to show).  The wizard directs you into a matrix/tablix layout, but doesn't provide the same guidance for a simple table. RB 3.0 release is very confusing to the users with this extra column appearing from draggin an Entity to the report.  If we don't need to design a report with Clickthrough links you are stuck with "garbage" data that comes out of the Entity fields.

  6. Saru says:

    I could remove the entity key column by settings the property 'Discourage Grouping' to false at the attribute level. But not able to do the samea t role level. So for an entity which is related to another entity, once i select the attributes of the related entity, the key column appers again. Anybody got any clue how to fix that?

  7. Rob says:

    What happened to Bob Meyers?

    It seems as though there are a few of us who believe that an end user tool should not expose users to computer generated spaghetti which would just confuse them. Bob, if there's no answer for this then don't be embarrassed to say so. We've been working with MSFT products for long enough now to know that they're not perfect.

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