Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Larry Alton

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning , Silverlight, Agile Computing

Microsoft Cloud: 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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...