We begin in earnest our journey with this post. The overall focus of this roadmap is to hit a series of topics in order until we have reached a good level of productivity with SSRS and AX. My approach in this series will be hit the topics, provide some insight and guidance, and how to accomplish some very common tasks . Throughout this series I’ll also be providing a series of exercises to try with SSRS. Some will require more “homework” than others, but at the conclusion of each you will have learned a set of skills that you will re-use later.
RESOURCES YOU CAN USE TODAY
The first thing I wan to point out is that there are lot of useful resources available already. As you learn more about AX and SSRS you’ll want be extremely familiar with these.
Microsoft.public.axapta discussion group
Robert Bruckner’s Advanced Reporting Services Blog
Dianne Siebold’s WebLog
Dynamics AX BI videos on YoutTube
HOMEWORK PART 1 – CREATE YOUR OWN SSRS SANDBOX
Our first series of exercises is to explore SSRS concepts in practice: Reports, designs, data sources, data sets, etc. The simplest way to accomplish this task is to built a reporting SandBox application – I mentioned this in my previous post.
Just install Visual Studio 2008 (SP1) – you don’t need to install SQL Server.
Below you’ll see a diagram that walks you through the basic steps. You can find a more detailed explanation of the steps here: http://cid-1ff099edb1c7ebfa.office.live.com/view.aspx/Public/Dynamics/BusinessIntelligence/Creating%20A%20Report%20Viewer%20Control%20SandBox.pptx
Now, I don’t want you to just follow through with these steps and be done once. Follow these steps 5 times – get so familiar with it that it becomes second nature. (I’ve recreated this sandbox application 10 times in both Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010).
Some will wonder why the SandBox environment is relevant. Besides offering a simple way of learning about SSRS in many ways using the SandBox and object data sources is very close the the experience that you’ll have with SSRS and AX – though that may not be very apparent at this moment.