Lesson 4: Defining a Report Model

A report model is a metadata layer on top of a physical database that identifies business entities, fields, and roles. Once published, these models enable Report Builder users to develop reports without having to be familiar with database structures or understand and write queries. Models are comprised of entities, which are sets of related report items that are grouped together under a friendly name, predefined relationships between these business entities, and predefined calculations. Models are defined using an XML language called Semantic Model Definition Language (SMDL). The file extension for report model files is .smdl.

In this tutorial, you will create a report model that can be used in Report Builder.

To define a report model

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click Report Models, and then select Add New Report Model.

    The Report Model Wizard is displayed.

  2. Click Next.

  3. In the Available data source views list, verify that ModelTutorial is selected and click Next.

    The Select report model generation rulespage is displayed. These rules determine how the metadata is generated from the data source. For the purpose of this tutorial, accept all the defaults. The metadata will be combined into objects called entities.

  4. Click Next. The Update Statistics page is displayed.


    To generate certain settings within the model, SMDL depends on database statistics that are stored in the data source view. If the data in the data source has changed or if the data source view was modified, it is recommended that you select the Update statistics before generating option.

  5. Verify that Update statistics before generating is selected, and then click Next.

  6. In the Name box, verify that ModelTutorial is selected.

  7. To complete the wizard and create the report model, click Run.

  8. To exit the wizard, click Finish.

    In the ModelTutorial - Microsoft Development Environment window, the entities and folders within the model are displayed. Selecting an entity displays the list of fields, folders, and roles that are contained within that entity. When the model name is selected, you can right-click to add entities, perspectives, and folders. When an entity is selected, you can right-click to add a folder, source field, expression, and role.

Next, you will use Business Intelligence Development Studio to publish your model to the report server. See Lesson 5: Publishing a Report Model Project.

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