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Designing and Implementing Reports Using Report Builder 1.0

Information workers throughout an organization need access to business data for timely and effective decision making. With a wide range of skills and expertise, these business users need an intuitive yet powerful tool to explore and find answers to critical questions without deep technical knowledge of corporate data sources.

Report Builder allows business users to create their own reports based on a user-friendly report model created in Model Designer. Fully integrated with Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, Report Builder leverages the full reporting platform to bring ad hoc reporting to all users.

Report Builder can run on any platform that supports the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. If the .NET Framework 2.0 is not installed on the client computer, users will be prompted to install it.

Users create reports with the Report Builder tool. The Report Builder interface is built on top of familiar Microsoft Office paradigms such as Excel and PowerPoint. Users start with report layout templates containing pre-defined data regions to build combinations of tables, matrices and charts. They navigate the reporting model to select report items and set constraints to filter the report data. The reporting model contains all of the necessary information for the Report Builder to automatically generate the source query and retrieve the requested data. The Report Builder also allows users to:

  • Add text and formatting to reports.

  • Create new fields and calculations defined against the reporting model.

  • Preview, print and publish reports.

  • Explore data related to the content of their report.

Interactive Data Exploration

Report Builder reports enable users to interactively drill and explore data related to the content of their report.

  • Automatic generation of new drill down reports allows users to explore data along model navigation paths.

  • Queries for navigation reports are generated on the fly, passing the context of the user’s current “location.”

  • Users can keep drilling as long as there is a relationship to follow from the current item.

Report Models

Report Builder reports are built from report models that provide a business layer on top of the underlying data source. Report models include:

  • Business names for database fields and tables.

  • Defined relationships between items in the data source.

  • Logical groupings of model items.

The report model aids users in navigating and selecting the desired information from the underlying data source. The Report Builder then uses the report model definitions to automatically generate the source query for retrieving the requested data. In addition, model elements can be secured so that users only see data they have permissions to see.

Model Designer is the user application for defining, editing and publishing report models. Modelers can launch the Model Designer and start designing directly against a data source or they can auto-generate the model based on a set of predefined rules as the starting point for model design. Model Designer can generate models against SQL Server 2000 or later databases and Oracle databases running version 9.2.0.3 or later.

NoteNote

Report models based on SQL Server 2005 or later Analysis Services databases are generated by using Report Manager or SharePoint Services.

Report Builder reports are just like any other Reporting Services report, once published, and leverage all of the viewing and management features of the reporting platform.

  • Report Builder is a ClickOnce Windows Forms application deployed from the Report Server for centralized management.

  • Report Builder reports are published in the Report Definition Language (RDL).

  • Reports are managed, secured and delivered by the same methods and APIs.

  • Report Builder reports can be edited in the Report Designer to take advantage of Report Designer’s full capabilities such as nested data regions and expanded expression support.

  • Can be launched from third party applications for integrated reporting.

The user interface for helping to secure and manage models and model items is integrated in Report Manager. Models are managed here similar to other Report Server items.

  • Model security and management through Report Manager.

  • New management APIs for models.

Topic

Description

Working with Report Builder 1.0 (Ad Hoc Reports)

Discusses Report Builder and how to design and run reports using pre-designed report templates.

Working with Report Model Query Designer

Discusses how to create model-based reports in Report Designer.

Designing Ad Hoc Reports: How-to Topics

Provides step-by-step instructions to complete tasks in Report Builder.

Designing Ad Hoc Reports: Tutorials

Provides AdventureWorks-based tutorials to learn how to use Report Builder.

Working with Models

Discusses how to use Report Model Designer to create and modify report models, and how to generate models using Report Manager.

Designing Report Models: How-to Topics

Provides step-by-step instructions to complete tasks in Model Designer.

Designing Report Models: Tutorials

Provides AdventureWorks-based tutorials to learn how to use Model Designer.

Publishing Models

Discusses how to publish models to the report server.

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