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Posted Nov 25, 2009

Introducing the Tablix Data Region in Reporting Services 2008 - Page 2

By William Pearson

Examination

Our first objective is to open the Territory Sales Drilldown 2008 sample report, within which we can follow along as we examine a working, basic tablix data region in the development environment. 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 column, 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 keep to the focus of the article more efficiently.

Preparation: Access the Sample Report within the Reporting Services Development Environment

For purposes of our practice session, we will employ the Territory Sales Drilldown 2008 report, one of several samples that are available to anyone installing the MSSQL Server 2008 integrated business intelligence suite. Examining the characteristics and settings of the report can be done easily within the Business Intelligence Studio environment.

Open the Sample Report Server Project

Let’s begin by opening the AdventureWorks 2008 Sample Reports solution, which contains the sample reports that are available online. We will complete our practice session within the sample solution so as to save the time required to set up a development environment from scratch within the Business Intelligence Development Studio.

NOTE: The code samples and sample databases for SQL Server no longer ship with the installation files. Instead, we can locate and download the samples and sample databases from the Microsoft SQL Server Samples and Community Projects Web site at http://www.codeplex.com/sqlserversamples. Various tables, organized by technology, appear there, containing hyperlinks to samples for the SQL Server components and to the official SQL Server sample databases. These tables also provide links to samples and projects that are available in the SQL Server community.

To install the official sample databases for SQL Server, we can go to http://www.CodePlex.com/MSFTDBProdSamples. Or we can click the Download link, and select the databases that we want, on the Microsoft SQL Server Samples and Community Projects home page, in the Sample Databases section.

Once we locate the Reporting Services 2008 project containing the sample reports, by clicking the appropriate link within the respective technology area table of the Microsoft SQL Server Samples and Community Projects home page, we can download the Windows Installer associated with the Reporting Services 2008 samples. Once the Installer .msi file is downloaded, all that remains is to click it to install the samples. (By default, the sample files are installed in the following location:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Samples\Reporting Services

Finally, once we have installed the samples, we can take the following steps to open the AdventureWorks 2008 Sample Reports solution. To begin, we’ll launch the SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio.

1.  Click Start.

2.  Navigate to, and click, SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio, as appropriate.

The equivalent on my PC appears as depicted in Illustration 1.

Launching SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio
Illustration 1: Launching SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio

We briefly see a splash page that lists the components installed on the PC, and then Visual Studio 2008 opens at the Start page.

3.  Close the Start page, if desired.

4.  Select File -> Open from the main menu.

5.  Click Project / Solution ... from the cascading menu, as shown in Illustration 2.

Selecting a New Project / Solution
Illustration 2: Selecting a New Project / Solution ...

The Open Project dialog appears.

6.  Browse to the Reporting Services sample reports folder.

The reports are installed, by default (and, therefore, subject to be installed in a different location on our individual machines), in the following location

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Samples\Reporting Services

The Reporting Services sample reports folder appears as depicted in Illustration 3.

Locating the Reporting Services Sample Reports Folder
Illustration 3: Locating the Reporting Services Sample Reports Folder

7.  Select the Reporting Services sample reports folder, and then click the Open button on the Open Project dialog.

8.  Select the AdventureWorks Sample Reports folder that appears among the contents of the opened Services sample reports folder.

9.  Click the Open button on the Open Project dialog, once again, as shown in Illustration 4.

Opening the AdventureWorks Sample Reports Folder
Illustration 4: Opening the AdventureWorks Sample Reports Folder

10.  Select the AdventureWorks 2008 Sample Reports.sln file within the sample reports folder,

11.  Click the Open button on the Open Project dialog, once again, as depicted in Illustration 5.

Opening the AdventureWorks 2008 Sample Reports.sln File
Illustration 5: Opening the AdventureWorks 2008 Sample Reports.sln File ...

The AdventureWorks 2008 Sample Reports solution opens, and we see the various objects within appear in Solution Explorer, as shown in Illustration 6.

The Solution Opens within BI Development Studio
Illustration 6: The Solution Opens within BI Development Studio ...



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