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SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse Connection Type (SSRS)

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Parallel Data Warehouse is a scalable data warehouse appliance that delivers performance and scalability through massively parallel processing. SQL Server PDW uses SQL Server 2014 databases for distributed processing and data storage.

The appliance partitions large database tables across multiple physical nodes, with each node running its own instance of SQL Server 2014. When a report connects to SQL Server PDW to retrieve report data, it connects to the control node, which manages query processing, in the SQL Server PDW appliance. After the connection is made, there are no differences between working with an instance of SQL Server that is and is not within a SQL Server PDW environment.

To include data from SQL Server PDW in your report, you must have a dataset that is based on a report data source of type Microsoft SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse. This built-in data source type is based on the Microsoft SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse data extension. Use this data source type to connect to and retrieve data from SQL Server PDW.

This data extension supports multivalued parameters, server aggregates, and credentials managed separately from the connection string.

For more information, see the Web site SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse.

Use the information in this topic to build a data source. For step-by-step instructions, see Add and Verify a Data Connection or Data Source (Report Builder and SSRS).

When you connect to SQL Server PDW, you are connecting to a database object within a SQL Server PDW appliance. You specify the database object to use in the query designer. If you do not specify a database in the connection string, you connect to the default database that the administrator assigned to you. Contact your database administrator for connection information and for the credentials to use to connect to the data source. The following connection string example specifies the sample database, CustomerSales, in the SQL Server PDW appliance:

HOST=<IP address>; database= CustomerSales; port=<port>

In addition, you use the Data Sources Properties dialog box to provide credentials such as user name and password, The User Id and Password options are automatically appended to the connection string, you do not need to type them as part of the connection string. The user interface also provides options to specify the IP address of the control node in the SQL Server PDW appliance and the port number. By default, the port is 17000. The port is configurable by an administrator and your connection string might use a different port number.

For more information about connection string examples, see Data Connections, Data Sources, and Connection Strings in Report Builder.

SQL Server PDW provides its own security technology to implement and store user names and passwords. You cannot use Windows Authentication. If you attempt to connect to SQL Server PDW using Windows Authentication an error occurs.

Credentials must be sufficient to access the database. Depending on your query, you might need other permissions, such as sufficient permissions to access tables and views. The owner of the external data source must configure credentials that are sufficient to provide read-only access to the database objects that you need.

From a report authoring client, the following options are available to specify credentials:

  • Use a stored user name and password. To negotiate the double hop that occurs when the database that contains the report data is different than the report server, select options to use credentials as Windows credentials. You can also chose to impersonate the authenticated user after connecting to the data source.

  • No credentials are required. To use this option, you must have the unattended execution account configured on the report server. For more information, see Configure the Unattended Execution Account (SSRS Configuration Manager) in the Reporting Services documentation in on msdn.microsoft.com.

For more information, see Data Connections, Data Sources, and Connection Strings (SSRS) or Specify Credentials in Report Builder.

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A query specifies which data to retrieve for a report dataset.

The columns in the result set for a query populate the field collection for a dataset. If the query returns multiple result sets, the report processes only the first result set that a query retrieves. By default, if you create a new query or open an existing query that can be represented in the graphical query designer, the relational query designer is available. You can specify a query in the following ways:

  • Build a query interactively. Use the relational query designer that displays a hierarchical view of tables, views, and other database items, organized by database schema. Select columns from tables or views. Limit the number of rows of data to retrieve by specifying filter criteria, grouping, and aggregates. Customize the filter when the report runs by setting the parameter option.

  • Type or paste a query. Use the text-based query designer to enter SQL text directly, to paste query text from another source, to enter complex queries that cannot be built by using the relational query designer, or to enter query-based expressions.

  • Import an existing query from a file or report. Use the Import query button from either query designer to browse to a .sql file or .rdl file and import a query.

For more information, see Relational Query Designer User Interface (Report Builder) and Text-based Query Designer User Interface (Report Builder).

The text-based query designer supports the Text mode in which you type SQL commands that select data from the data source.

You use SQL with SQL Server PDW and Transact-SQL with SQL Server 2014. The two dialects of the SQL language are very similar. Queries written for the SQL Server data source connection type can typically be used for the SQL Server 2014 Parallel Data Warehouse data source connection type.

A query that retrieves report data from a large database, including a data warehouse such as SQL Server PDW, might generate a result set that has a very large number of rows unless you aggregate and summarize data to reduce the number of rows that the query returns. You can write queries that include aggregates and grouping by using either the graphical or text-based query designer.

SQL support the clause, keyword, and aggregates that the query designer provides to summarize data. 

The graphical query designer used by SQL Server PDW provides built-in support for grouping and aggregates to help you write queries that retrieve only summary data. The SQL language features are: the GROUP BY clause, DISTINCT keyword, and aggregates such as SUM and COUNT. The text-based query designer provides full support for the SQL language, including grouping and aggregates.

For more information about Transact-SQL, see Transact-SQL Reference (Database Engine)in SQL Server Books Online on msdn.microsoft.com.

Using Query Type Text

In the text-based query designer, you type SQL commands to define the data in a dataset. The queries that you use to retrieve data from SQL Server PDW are the same as ones you use to retrieve data from instances of SQL Server that are not running within a SQL Server PDW application. For example, the following SQL query selects the names of all employees who are marketing assistants:

SELECT
  HumanResources.Employee.BusinessEntityID
  ,HumanResources.Employee.JobTitle
  ,Person.Person.FirstName
  ,Person.Person.LastName
FROM
  Person.Person
  INNER JOIN HumanResources.Employee
    ON Person.Person.BusinessEntityID = HumanResources.Employee.BusinessEntityID
WHERE HumanResources.Employee.JobTitle = 'Marketing Assistant' 

Click the Run button (!) on the toolbar to run the query and display a result set.

To parameterize this query, add a query parameter. For example, change the WHERE clause to the following:

WHERE HumanResources.Employee.JobTitle = (@JobTitle)

When you run the query, report parameters that correspond to query parameters are automatically created. For more information, see Query Parameters later in this topic.

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When query text contains query variables or stored procedures that have input parameters, the corresponding query parameters for the dataset and report parameters for the report are automatically generated. The query text must not include the DECLARE statement for each query variable.

For example, the following SQL query creates a report parameter named EmpID:

SELECT FirstName, LastName FROM HumanResources.Employee E INNER JOIN
       Person.Contact C ON  E.ContactID=C.ContactID 
WHERE EmployeeID = (@EmpID)

By default, each report parameter has data type Text and an automatically created dataset to provide a drop-down list of available values. After the report parameters are created, you might have to change default values. For more information, see Report Parameters (Report Builder and SSRS).

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Platform and Version Information

For more information about platform and version support, see Data Sources Supported by Reporting Services (SSRS) in the Reporting Services documentation in SQL Server Books Online.

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These sections of the documentation provide in-depth conceptual information about report data, and procedural information about how to define, customize, and use parts of a report that are related to data.

Add Data to a Report (Report Builder and SSRS)

Provides an overview of accessing data for your report.

Data Connections, Data Sources, and Connection Strings in Report Builder

Provides information about data connections and data sources.

Report Embedded Datasets and Shared Datasets (Report Builder and SSRS)

Provides information about embedded and shared datasets.

Dataset Fields Collection (Report Builder and SSRS)

Provides information about the dataset field collection generated by the query.

Data Sources Supported by Reporting Services (SSRS) in the Reporting Services documentation in SQL Server Books Online.

Provides in-depth information about platform and version support for each data extension.

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