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Pro SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services opens the door to delivering customizable, web-enabled reports across your business at reasonable cost. Reporting Services is Microsoft’s enterprise-level reporting platform. It is included with many editions of SQL Server, and is something you’ll want to take advantage of if you’re running SQL Server as your database engine.

Reporting Services provides a full set of tools with which to create and deploy reports. Create interactive reports for business users. Define reporting models from which business users can generate their own ad hoc reports. Pull data from relational databases, from XML, and from other sources. Present that data to users in tabular and graphical forms, and more. Reporting Services experts Brian McDonald, Rodney Landrum, and Shawn McGehee show how to do all this and much more in this third edition of their longstanding book on the topic.

Provides best practices for using Reporting Services Covers the very latest in new features for SQL Server 2012 Your key to delivering business intelligence across the enterprise

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introducing the Reporting Services Architecture

Abstract
Microsoft’s 2003 announcement that it was going to release SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) as a SQL Server 2000 add-on stirred up a frenzy of excitement. The product was originally slated for release with SQL Server 2005, so the early release was a welcome event for many. Our software development company decided to embrace SSRS early on and was fortunate to work with Microsoft during the beta phases. In January 2004, the month Microsoft’s released SSRS to manufacturing (RTM), we deployed it immediately. We intended to migrate all of our existing reports (which we had developed on as many as five reporting applications and platforms over the previous ten years) to SSRS. We can sum up the reason for the seemingly rapid decision in one word: standardization.
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 2. Report Authoring: Designing Efficient Queries

Abstract
SSRS provides a platform for developing and managing reports in an environment that includes multiple data sources of information. These data sources can include both relational data (for example, SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and so on) and non-relational data (for example, Active Directory, LDAP stores, and Exchange Server). Standards such as ODBC, OLE DB, and .NET facilitate the retrieval of data from these disparate data stores, so SSRS can access the data as long as your system has the relevant drivers. In the SSRS report design environment, configuring a dataset that drives the report content is the first step of the design process.
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 3. Introduction to Reporting Services Design with SQL Server Data Tools

Abstract
The professional lines separating system administrators, DBAs, and developers are blurring. Products are often extensible through code or at least have the potential to create functionality that goes well beyond that of out-of-the-box offerings. SSRS is such an application. The days of the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) are numbered and will be overshadowed by the new interface on the block, the IDE, though even that isn’t new by any means, as any developer will tell you. However, system administrators, DBAs, and even report designers have had to become familiar with this new way of performing their day-to-day tasks. As you’re probably well aware, you can create reports for SSRS within Visual Studio 2005 and up, or within BIDS/SSDT. To remind you of these abbreviations, the designer included with SSRS 2005 through the 2008 R2 release was labeled as Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS). However, in the 2012 release, Microsoft decided to re-label the designer as SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) because of the inclusion of features such as further development integration with SQL Azure environments. The ability to use SSDT/BIDS is advantageous for Visual Studio developers, because now they can use the same IDE for report creation and application development! For the rest of us, creating reports in Visual Studio 2010 presents a learning curve.
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 4. Laying Out a Report

Abstract
Now it is time to delve into the area in the IDE in which you’ll probably spend the most time: the Design tab. The real creative magic begins here, and we don’t mean because a wizard or two might be involved.
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 5. Implementing Dashboard-Style Report Objects

Abstract
Charts, maps, indicators and other Reporting Services objects add visual interest to reports. Many of these objects also allow you to communicate a great deal of information at a glance that would otherwise be time-consuming to discover from reading lines of detail in a report containing only columnar data. Reporting Services provides a number of chart types and other report objects that have their own purpose. The visual report objects at your disposal are:
  • Chart: SSRS provides many chart styles that can be incorporated with other report objects such as the Table or Matrix or used as a stand-alone report.
  • Gauge: Released with SSRS 2008, these visually appealing controls provide at-aglance views, typically used as Key Performance Indicators of business measurables, such as sales and profit trending. Prior to SSRS 2008, gauges had to be acquired separately.
  • Image: This report object can embed standard format images, such as JPEG or TIFF, directly in a report. You can embed images directly in reports, say for a company logo, or pull them directly from a database table.
  • Map: The map object allows developers to add overlaying visualizations on top of aerial maps to represent data returned by a map gallery, a spatial query or from Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc (ESRI) objects and shape files.
  • Data Bar: This report item can be used as a horizontal bar or vertical data column. It is often used to convey a lot of information in a smaller amount of space than typical bar charts. For example, you might use a data bar if you wanted to visually represent the test scores that a group of students received on a particular assessment.
  • Sparkline: Much like the Data Bar, this report object is usually used to visualize large amounts of trending data on a particular measure, but in a more condensed fashion than the traditional chart provides. This is much like the depiction of the price of stock over a given date range with few or no labels and legends present.
  • Indicator: Added in SSRS 2008 R2, this report item can be used to show different images that visually represent a certain predefined or data driven value. Examples of this object are commonly seen in report sections that provide a comparison against a Key Performance Indicator (KPI).
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 6. Building Reports

Abstract
In the previous chapter, you laid the foundation for your first report by creating a query and subsequent stored procedure. You also learned about the fundamental elements used to build reports and are now familiar with the design environment. Now, it is time to put all the pieces together and begin building reports. You can easily apply the concepts introduced in this chapter to any company that uses SQL Server and relational database systems. This chapter will focus primarily on creating a reporting solution based on data from a SQL Server health care database; it will use many of the report elements that have been available since SSRS’s inception in SQL Server 2000 through 2012. SSRS 2008 and 2008 R2 introduced many new features such as report variables, enhanced charting, and data visualizations. The most significant additions were the Tablix data regions and dashboard style elements like Sparklines, Data Bars, and the Indicator. We are excited to incorporate these significant and long-awaited enhancements into the reports featured in this book.
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 7. Using Custom .NET Code with Reports

Abstract
SSRS offers software developers a variety of options when it comes to customizing reports through code. These options give software developers the ability to write custom functions using .NET code that can interact with report fields, parameters, and filters in much the same way as any of the built-in functions.
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 8. Deploying Reports

Abstract
Throughout the lifecycle of a report—from creation to maintenance—administrators, developers, and now even end users using Report Builder need to continually deploy reports to the SSRS 2012 server. Deploying a report simply means uploading the RDL file onto the SSRS 2012 server so that your users can use it (for more information on the specifics of the RDL format of these reports, see Chapter 3).
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 9. Rendering Reports from .NET Applications

Abstract
Report rendering is the process of outputting the results of a report into a specific format. You pass the appropriate parameters to SSRS, telling it what report you want to run and optionally what format you want the output in, any user credentials, and the actual report parameters. SSRS 2012 then renders the report and returns the results.
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 10. Managing Reports

Abstract
In many reporting solutions prior to SSRS, report management required little more than delivering the completed report file to the end user via a file share or embedded in a third-party application. SSRS is a full reporting environment with features such as scheduled report execution, report subscription services, snapshots, content caching, and on-demand Web access.
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 11. Securing Reports

Abstract
If a topic is currently on the minds of administrators more than security, we would be hard-pressed to name it. We all know that security threats come in many flavors and levels of severity—from the malicious pop-up Web pages to the invasive worms and viruses that wreak havoc on systems and take their toll on productivity by wasting time and resources to disgruntled employees to nefarious bots to skilled system intruders lurking around our data ready to pounce at any moment..
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 12. Delivering Business Intelligence with SSRS

Abstract
Most companies accumulate business data that, if analyzed correctly, can provide insights into what direction the company should take to achieve ultimate success. The main intention of Business Intelligence (BI) is to provide data in such a way that it can be immediately utilized to make important decisions. Microsoft’s BI platform comprises many services and applications that work together to facilitate the analysis and delivery of critical business data. SQL Server is at the heart of the BI model, providing data storage, data transformation, notification, scheduling, analysis, and reporting services.
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Chapter 13. Creating Reports Using Report Builder 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0

Abstract
When it comes to user-developed reports, we often have to deal with the problem of providing the underlying data in a controlled and secure way, but with enough freedom for that data to be useful for making business decisions. In SQL Server 2005, Reporting Services included the first version of the Report Builder. Report Builder is an application that offloads some of the tedious report design tasks to the report consumers themselves.
Brian McDonald, Shawn McGehee, Rodney Landrum

Backmatter

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