Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Larry Alton, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Harry Trott, Ken Schwaber

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
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
@ThingsExpo has been named the ‘Top WebRTC Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @ThingsExpo ranked as the number one ‘WebRTC Influencer' followed by @DevOpsSummit at 55th.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
"What is the next step in the evolution of IoT systems? The answer is data, information, which is a radical shift from assets, from things to input for decision making," stated Michael Minkevich, VP of Technology Services at Luxoft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.