All Things Data Visualization (Sparkline Reports, Silverlight Charts)

My colleagues Sean Boon and Alex Gorev recently started their own blogs with focus on data visualization.  You can expect to see more postings on their blogs in future on how to effectively utilize Reporting Services 2008 charts and gauges to make your reports really stand out.   Sean started his blog with a great initial posting on how…

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Charts with Dynamic Height or Width based on Categories/Data

You may have been in this situation before – you designed a chart based on a particular dataset and everything looks great.  However, later the data volume increases, or new categories dynamically show up in your data source, and there is not enough horizontal/vertical space in the chart to show all the data or categories.  Unless, of course, you…

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Reporting from Data in the Cloud (aka SSRS and SDS at PDC)

One of the demos shown at Monday’s PDC keynote by Ray Ozzie and Bob Muglia was Reporting Services with data stored in SQL Data Services (SDS) in the cloud.  Besides the keynote, there are several more sessions throughout PDC featuring Reporting Services – building those demos was a lot of fun! How did we do this?  We built a…

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Do You ▖ Unicode in PDF?

One of the changes we included in Cumulative Update #1 for SQL Server 2008 (CU1 download link) is automatic full font embedding and subsetting for Unicode characters in Reporting Services 2008 PDF rendering. While a similar code change is now available for Reporting Services 2005 PDF rendering with SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 (SP3 download link), it is not…

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Fields in Page Header

One of the small new features in Reporting Services 2008 that has not been widely publicized, is the ability to directly reference dataset fields and dataset aggregations from expressions in the page header and page footer.  You can accomplish this by simply dragging a dataset field directly into the page header/footer area of the report,…

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Microsoft Chart Controls for .NET Framework 3.5 Released!

One of the projects the data visualization group within the Reporting Services team has been working on is building stand-alone ASP.NET and Windows Forms Chart Controls for the .NET Framework 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008, similar to what has been already available as built-in chart functionality in SQL Server Reporting Services 2008.  These stand-alone chart controls can…

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What DataSet Query Text Is Executed?

In a previous posting, I discussed dataset execution order in Reporting Services.  In this posting, I will provide a few tips for situations where you or your report users are wondering what is the actual query executed by Reporting Services.  While you can accurately answer this question using a profiler connected to the data source machines or…

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Report Builder 2.0 Released!

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Report Builder 2.0 RTM (build 10.00.1600.60) is now available on Microsoft Download Center as stand-alone installer in more than 20 languages. Report Builder 2.0 provides an intuitive report authoring environment for business and power users. It supports the full capabilities of SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services including flexible data layout, data visualizations, and richly…

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Using Analysis Services Parent-Child Hierarchies in Reports

One of the questions that I answer somewhat frequently, is about recursive groupings in Reporting Services and how to utilize parent-child hierarchies from an Analysis Services cube. The attachment of this posting contains a small report example I put together based on the Analysis Services 2005 Adventure Works DW sample cube, and demonstrates a recursive hierarchy using the…

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Expression-Based Dynamic Drillthrough Actions

The Reporting Services demo during the “BI Power Hour” session at the Microsoft Business Intelligence Conference was a lot of fun and well received.  My colleague Carolyn Chau did great on stage presenting the demo we had put together.  In my chalk talk the next morning, I then spent a few minutes explaining the key components of the demo…

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