Verify Operation of the Chart Report
Let's ascertain the accuracy and completeness of our construction efforts. We will execute the report with the following steps:
- Click the Preview tab, to the right of the Layout tab atop the design surface.
The new chart report generates, and appears as shown in Illustration 28.
We see that our new pie chart presents the data requested by the information consumers. The individual "pieces of the pie" display the percentage total sales value for each of the Stores. Moreover, total Sales by Store, together with the corresponding percentage contribution of each (in descending order), appears in the legend, which is color-keyed to the chart.
- Click the Layout tab, once more.
- Select File --> Save PercTotalPie.rdl As ... from the main menu, as depicted in Illustration 29.
Illustration 29: Saving the .rdl File for the Report
- Resave the file, and then exit Visual Studio.net, when desired.
Through the forgoing steps, we have met the requirements of the information consumers within the Budget and Planning unit of the FoodMart 2000 organization. We have augmented the data presented within a pre-existing matrix region (which we created in our previous article) with a pie chart that serves multiple functions. The chart region we have constructed demonstrates the presentation of a calculation, Percent of Total, within both the body of the chart itself and its legend, combining the base value, Store Sales, with the calculated Percent of Total Sales within the chart legend, to achieve desired impact. The presentations are certainly interchangeable, as well as subject to other options; these approaches are only simple examples of the flexibility that Reporting Services offers us as authors / architects.
Of further significance is our selection of two distinct sources for the Percent of Total Sales calculation, which, as a follow-on to concepts we introduced in our previous article, demonstrates the end use of calculations that are constructed to inhabit different levels of the integrated BI solution. Our example is only a tiny illustration of the opportunities that abound in a solution that is designed and constructed to leverage the many options that exist at "multiple layers" for optimization of the overall solution. Indeed, as I have often stated in the past, multi-layered architecture requires a familiarity with all the layers to facilitate the optimal placement of each component of the "intelligence."
In this article, we returned to our examination of chart reports, this time with objectives that went beyond our introduction, earlier in the MSSQL Server Reporting Services series, Master Chart Reports: Pie Charts in Reporting Services. Following the introduction of the Percent of Total calculation (largely as an example of a business intelligence component that can be constructed at multiple levels within an integrated BI solution) we introduced in our previous article, Mastering OLAP Reporting: Percent of Total - Two Perspectives. We leveraged much of the setup required by using components created in that article in support of the practice examples we undertook in this article.
Our objective was to extend our percent of total solution to its presentation within a chart, combining the concepts involved with a few mechanical procedures about which I receive recurring e-mails and forum insertions. We used a pie chart, but noted that the same concepts apply, directly or indirectly, within other Reporting Services chart types. After discussing a common business need within the reporting environment, the requirement to present percent of total values within a chart data region, we focused upon the Analysis Services layer as the home of one calculation, and Reporting Services as the layer containing the second, referring to the construction of these components in our previous article.
We then returned to the project that we created in the previous article, creating a "clone" report within Reporting Services, within which we performed our practice exercises, allowing us to leverage the dataset from our previous article to "jumpstart" our practice session. We then worked with a Pie Chart to demonstrate audience-friendly presentation options for percent of total values. Finally, we previewed the report in Report Designer, to verify the operation of the calculations, labels, and other report elements that formed the scope of our practice exercise.
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