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Archive for May, 2010

Report Parts : Making life easy

May 30, 2010 Leave a comment

As I mentioned previously , I’ll try to run through all the nice new features of Reporting Services 2008 R2. We’ve covered the Sparklines and the Shared Data sets , so lets now focus on something called Report Parts.

 

The image above shows a folder on Report Manager where Report Parts have been published. You get a nice "puzzle" icon with it.

Now this really is a feature that will drive ad-hoc reporting amongst business users. Its easy to set up , and it makes report creation laughably easy , almost too easy. Basically you now have the ability to publish each part of your report as an individual object. A person using report builder can then browse what report parts are available on a report server and then simply drag them onto his report.  Nothing needs to be set up or configured, it will create any related objects for you , like data sources or data sets. You simply "drag and run". All formatting is maintained as well. Firstly, however, somebody has to create the Report Parts iteself. This isn’t too difficult.

Once you’ve created a report in Report Builder 2  , you can select the "Publish Report Parts" option from the main drop down menu at the top left. In Visual Studio , you would have to click in Report – "Publish Report Parts". In the report that I’ve created below , each guage , table and chart will be published as an individual report part.

 
You can then choose to simply publish or review – from Visual Studio you will get the review by default. Here you can select which objects to publish and write in a nice description for people who will be browsing the report part. A "preview" icon is generated which is really handy, and this is what the end user will see while browsing. If you publish a dataset it will create a shared dataset.
 
 
 
Now for the easy part – creating a report using parts that have been published. You need to really pay attention here, right ?
On the left hand side in report builder, you will see a new "Report Part Galllery" panel, with the icon previewing the part.
 
 
And on a new report, you simply click on a part that you want , and drag it on. As I mentioned previously, the data sources and data sets that the object requires will be created automatically. Of course the more advanced users can tweak these. But for deploying "self service" reporting , the combination report parts and shared data sets is a winner.
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Categories: Reporting Services