Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Trevor Parsons, David H Deans, Yeshim Deniz, Aria Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: .NET, AJAX & REA, Silverlight, Web 2.0

.NET: Book Review

Book Review: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services

The Report Builder's Bible

Over the years I have been on quite a few projects and there have been very few if any that did not require some type of reporting. For a while that meant Crystal Reports, but when SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) hit the scene, Crystal Reports began to fade on Microsoft projects. That was especially true if I had my way. I was the first person to champion SSRS in state projects in Pennsylvania. That was quite a battle but well worth it!

SSRS is one of the best solutions to come out of Microsoft. I don't say that lightly. I have plenty of complaints about different Microsoft products, but none about SSRS. The extensibility model built into the architecture makes the product completely customizable through extension.

This book introduces the SSRS architecture, the report manager, the basics of databases and database queries, but every topic introduced supports the report builder role. This book is all about the report builder. The chapters are listed below.

Part I: Getting Started
Chapter 1. Let's Start at the Very Beginning
Chapter 2. Putting the Pieces in Place: Installing Reporting Services

Part II: Report Authoring
Chapter 3. DB 101: Database Basics
Chapter 4. A Visit to Emerald City: The Report Wizard
Chapter 5. Removing the Training Wheels: Building Basic Reports
Chapter 6. Graphic Expression: Using Charts, Images, and Gauges
Chapter 7. Geography Lesson: Using Maps and Spatial Data Types
Chapter 8. Kicking It Up a Notch: Intermediate Reporting
Chapter 9. Beyond Wow: Advanced Reporting

Part III: Reporting Serving
Chapter 10. How Did We Ever Manage Without You--The Report Manager
Chapter 11. Delivering the Goods: Report Delivery
Chapter 12. Teamwork: Integrating Reporting Services
Chapter 13. Well Begun: Best Practices

One thing that struck me as a little weird was there was no "What's new in SSRS 2012" section. That is no big deal as I usually skip those sections anyway, but some readers may be looking for it. One big change that was worth mentioning was no more Report Models. I didn't see that mentioned anywhere in the book.

Reports can be built using Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio 2010 with the SQL Server Data Tools add-in, and Report Builder. The author does a great job showing how to use the different tools with each example when usage is different. This really helps you get familiar with the tools and in the end will help you choose which tool you would like to use.

There is no coverage of custom extensions. My review started by touting that that is my favorite part of the product, so I was disappointed to see nothing about it. Although I do believe the content of this book will take you to the maximum possible potential of creating and delivering reports with the out of the box functionality, I have had to write custom extensions on many projects in order to meet the client's requirements. It is a topic that I would like to see covered and have seen covered in other reporting services books. However, I am not going to ding the book for this because I know that 99.9% of the reporting services authors will never have to write a custom extension or even have to know they exist.

My favorite part of the book was the hands on approach the author takes to teach us the ins and outs of SSRS. The best way to read this book is with Visual Studio or Report Builder open. The author goes through tons of step by step tasks.

Another thing I really liked was the coverage of data visualization. One of the biggest business user requests I hear is for data visualization in the form of charts, images, and gauges. This book will teach you how to use all three. It also includes great coverage of maps and spatial data types.

One last thing I really like about this book is that the author does a great job of teaching the reader how to retrieve data. In the beginning of the book he does an excellent job explaining joins. Then throughout the book he advances the reader to some fairly complex queries using joins. After running through all the examples you'll know how to get to the data you want.

Like I said above this is a Report Builder's book. If you want to learn everything there is about building reports, this is the book to teach you. The best part though is that you do not have to have any experience. This book takes the beginner from databases 101 to beginning reports, through intermediate reports, to building advanced reports.

The downloadable code is well organized and very usable. The author includes a database and an OLAP database. Both come with instructions for installing and configuring. All the code works well and adds a lot of value to the book.

All in all if you are building SQL Server 2102 Reporting Services Reports, or if you are interested in learning how to, you owe it to yourself to get this book.

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services 4/E

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...