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,…

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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 want it Use…

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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) Using that little checkbox in the Report…

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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…

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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 fix to…

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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 list each…

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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…

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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 RB 1.0,…

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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 you can create datasets against…

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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 doesn’t sort the data, there’s…

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