Providing User Interaction in Reports

In environments that support interactivity, such as HTML 4.0, reports can include a variety of features that provide interactivity to users. Users can influence the appearance of a report and the data it contains by typing or selecting a value before running the report. A user can show or hide items in a report and click links that go to other reports or Web pages. Reporting Services also provides a document map, which acts like a table of contents. A user can click items in the document map to jump to areas within a report.

Use report parameters to obtain values from the user. These values can be passed to a parameter in a query, passed to a filter, or used in expressions within the report. A report parameter can be a simple text box into which a user types a value, or it can provide a list of valid values from which the user must choose. This list can be static or it can be updated dynamically with data from a dataset.

You can also define a default value to be used by a report when it runs, which can be a static value or one retrieved from a dataset. For information about adding parameters to a report using Report Designer, see Working with Parameters in Reporting Services.

You can use filters to filter report data after it has been retrieved from the data source. You can place filters on datasets and data regions.

Filters are different than query parameters in that when you use a query parameter, the returned data is filtered at the source. When you use a filter, the entire data set is retrieved, and then the filter is applied to the retrieved data. This is useful for snapshot reports, in which the data is retrieved and stored with the snapshot report. Using filters, you can limit the data the report displays, while still using the static snapshot data. Filters are also useful when the data source does not support the use of query parameters to filter data.

For information about adding filters to a report using Report Designer, see Filtering Data in a Report.

You can also add links to a report. When you add a link to a text box, image, or chart element, you can specify one of three types of links:

  • A drillthrough report link provides a link to another report on the report server, and can pass parameter values to the report.
  • A link to a URL provides a link to a Web page, typically outside the report server.
  • A bookmark link provides a link to a bookmark, or anchor, within the current report.

For information about adding links using Report Designer, see Adding Links to a Report.

Each item in a report has a set of properties that determine whether the item is visible or hidden. You can use these properties to hide items on a report, conditionally hide data based on other data in the report, and provide an item that the user clicks to toggle items between visible and hidden. For example, you can create a drilldown report that shows summary data when the report is first loaded and shows detail rows when users click a particular text box.

For information about hiding items in a report using Report Designer, see Hiding Report Items.

Another way a user can interact with a report is through a document map. In HTML Viewer, a document map appears as a table of contents next to the report. Users can click an item in the table, and the browser jumps to that item in the report.

To add items to a document map, you associate a document map label with each item. For information about adding items to a document map using Report Designer, see Adding a Document Map.

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