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Posted Dec 18, 2006

Black Belt Components: Support Simple Navigation with a Document Map - Page 2

By William Pearson

Practice

Our first objective is to create a copy of the Sales Reason Comparisons sample report, into which we can implement enhancements from the perspective of the SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio. The focus of our efforts is the addition of navigation support via the Reporting Services Document Map feature within a report (the mechanics behind enabling the feature, not the design of the report itself). Because of time limitations, we will be working with a simple, pre-existing sample report – in reality, the business environment may require significantly more sophistication. The process of setting up a Document Map is the same in real world scenarios, with perhaps a more complex set of underlying considerations involved. I often encounter the need to add more sophisticated navigation capabilities within client environments, which might include customization of the Document Map feature that comes with Reporting Services, combinations of the rudimentary Document Map feature with other navigation support, or even fully customized solutions based upon additional programming.

We will perform our practice session from inside the MSSQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio. For more exposure to the Business Intelligence Development Studio itself, and the myriad design, development and other evolutions we can perform within this powerful interface, see other articles in this series, as well as within my Database Journal series Introduction to MSSQL Server Analysis Services. In this article, we will be commenting only on the features relevant to our immediate practice exercise, to allow us to work within the focus of the article more efficiently.

Preparation: Create a Clone Report within the Reporting Services Development Environment

For purposes of our practice session, we will create a copy of the Sales Reason Comparisons report, one of several samples that are available with (and installable separately from) the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 integrated business intelligence solution. Creating a “clone” of the report means we can make changes to our report while retaining the original sample in a pristine state – perhaps for other purposes, such as using it to accompany relevant sections of the Books Online, and other documentation, in learning more about Reporting Services in general.

Making preparatory modifications, and then making the enhancements to the report to add the functionality that forms the subject of our lesson, can be done easily within the Studio environment. Working with a copy of the report will allow us the luxury of freely exploring our options, and leave us a working example of the specific approach we took, to which we can refer in our individual business environments.

Open the Sample Report Server Project

For purposes of our practice session, we will open the AdventureWorks Sample Reports project, which contains the sample reports that ship with the Reporting Services component of the MSSQL Server 2005 integrated business intelligence solution. We will complete our practice session within the sample project so as to save the time required to set up a development environment from scratch within the Business Intelligence Development Studio.

To open the AdventureWorks Sample Reports project, please see the following procedure in the References section of my articles index:

Ascertain Connectivity of the Shared Data Source

Let’s ensure we have a working data source. Many of us will be running “side-by-side” installations of MSSQL Server 2000 and MSSQL Server 2005. This means that our installation of the latter will need to be referenced as a server / instance combination, versus a server name alone. (The default server for the Adventure Works DW project sample’s connection is localhost, which will not work correctly in such a side-by-side installation, as MSSQL Server 2000 will have assumed the identity of the local PC by default.)

If you do not know how to ascertain or modify connectivity of the Analysis Services data source, please perform the steps of the following procedure in the References section of my articles index:

Create a Copy of the Sales Reason Comparisons Report

We will begin with a copy of the Reporting Services 2005 Sales Reason Comparisons OLAP report, which we will use for our practice exercise in meeting the business requirements of our Adventure Works colleagues. Creating a “clone” of the report means we can make changes to select contents (perhaps as a part of later exploration with our independent solution), while retaining the original sample in a pristine state for other purposes. (Examples might include using the original to accompany relevant sections of the Books Online, and other documentation, as a part of learning more about Reporting Services, and other components of the Microsoft integrated business intelligence solution in general.)

If you do not know how to create a copy of an existing report, please perform the steps of the following procedure in the References section of my articles index:

Once we have a clone OLAP report file within our Reporting Services 2005 Project, we can proceed, in the next section, to make modifications for our subsequent practice session.



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