BlackBelt Administration: Linked Reports in Report Manager - Page 5

June 19, 2006

Procedure: Create Linked Reports

As we discussed in the introduction, a Linked Report acts as a duplicate of a "common" report file. This original, source report can have as many "children" (the Linked Reports) as we need, all of which share the .rdl of the common source report. The differences in the Linked Reports are varying parameters or other properties we assign to them, to "custom fit" them, for instance, to restrict the data they return to the specific audiences for whom we are providing the Linked Reports. As we noted earlier, the power of Linked Reports lies in the fact that they rely upon a single source .rdl file. This means a central point of maintenance that enables us to make enhancements or other modifications in one file, while updating all the "child" reports simultaneously.

Create New Folders in Report Manager to House the Linked Reports

We are ready to move to Report Manager to create and work with Linked Reports.

1.  Open an instance of Internet Explorer.

2.  Type in the URL of the Report Server (the server we input above, within the TargetServerURL property of the AdventureWorks Sample Reports Properties Pages dialog).

Report Manager appears, with the folders in evidence (depending on the settings made earlier on the AdventureWorks Sample Reports Properties Pages dialog, and, obviously, depending upon our local environments prior to our deployment steps), similar to those depicted in Illustration 29.


Illustration 29: Example View of Report Manager from Internet Explorer

Let's create three folders in Report Manager to house our Linked Reports. This way, we can manage security by controlling access to the folders, limiting the groups of users to, in our example, Sales Territory Groups. (We could also assign different roles to the Linked Reports, as well as taking other approaches, but we will keep things simple for our immediate purposes).

3.  Click the New Folder button atop the Report Manager Home page, as shown in Illustration 30.


Illustration 30: Click New Folder ...

The New Folder page opens.

4.  Type the following into the Name field:

Europe

5.  Type the following into the Description field:

European Sales Territory Reports

The New Folder page appears, with our input, as depicted in Illustration 31.


Illustration 31: The New Folder Page, with Our Input

6.  Click OK to create the folder and return to the Home page.

The Europe folder appears, with a "!New" icon alongside, on the Home page.

7.  Click the New Folder button, once again.

8.  Type the following into the Name field of the New Folder page:

North America

9.  Type the following into the Description field:

North American Sales Territory Reports

10.  Click OK to create the folder and return to the Home page, as before.

The North America folder appears, with a "!New" icon alongside, on the Home page.

11.  Click the New Folder button, once more.

12.  Type the following into the Name field of the New Folder page:

Pacific

13.  Type the following into the Description field:

Pacific Sales Territory Reports

14.  Click OK to create the folder and return to the Home page, as before.

The Pacific folder appears, with a "!New" icon alongside, on the Home page. The Home page appears, with all new folders, as shown in Illustration 32.


Illustration 32: The New Folders on the Home Page ...

15.  Click the AdventureWorks Sample Reports folder to enter it.

The folder opens.

16.  Click the Show Details button, on the right of the toolbar, atop the AdventureWorks Sample Reports page, as depicted in Illustration 33.


Illustration 33: Click Show Details ...

17.  Click the Properties icon, underneath the Edit column heading, to the left of RS030_Linked Report (Name column), as shown in Illustration 34.


Illustration 34: Editing the Report Properties (Partial Page View)

The Properties page for RS030_Linked Report opens.

18.  Click the Create Linked Report button, toward the bottom of the page, as depicted in Illustration 35.


Illustration 35: Click Create Linked Report

19.  Type the following into the Name field of the next Properties page that opens next.

Sales Reason Comparison

20.  Type the following into the Description field:

European Territory Sales Reason Comparison

21.  Click the Change Location button, as shown in Illustration 36.


Illustration 36: Specifying the Location of the Linked Report ...

The Folder Location page opens.

22.  Click the Europe folder in the folder tree.

The Location box reflects our selection of Europe, as depicted in Illustration 37.


Illustration 37: Assigning the Linked Report to the Europe Folder

23.  Click OK to accept the location modification and return to the previous Properties page.

The new location appears, to the left of the Change Location button, as shown in Illustration 38.


Illustration 38: The New Location Appears ...

24.  Click OK once again, to finalize creation of the new Linked Report within the new location

The report generates and displays. (Note that, at this stage, it displays data for all three Sales Territory Groups, just as the source report did in earlier Previews.)

NOTE: Data Source and other error messages here may indicate inadequate permissions / security setup for the user within which we are working. For instruction in setting up security, see the Books Online, together with local policy documentation, etc., as appropriate).

25.  Once the report generates, return to the Home page using the breadcrumb trail atop the page, as depicted in Illustration 39.


Illustration 39: Returning to the Home Page ...

We arrive at the Report Manager Home page, once again.

Let's create the second Linked Report of our practice exercise, this time for the North American Sales Territory users, next.

26.  Click the AdventureWorks Sample Reports folder to re-enter it.

The folder opens.

27.  Click the Show Details button, once again, if necessary.

28.  Click the Properties icon, underneath the Edit column heading, to the left of RS030_Linked Report (Name column), as we did earlier.

The Properties page for RS030_Linked Report opens, once again.

29.  Click the Create Linked Report button, toward the bottom of the page, as we did before.

30.  Type the following into the Name field of the next Properties page that opens next.

Sales Reason Comparison

31.  Type the following into the Description field:

North American Territory Sales Reason Comparison

32.  Click the Change Location button, as we did earlier.

The Folder Location page opens, once again.

33.  Click the North America folder in the folder tree.

The Location box reflects our selection of North America.

34.  Click OK to accept the location modification and return to the previous Properties page.

35.  Click OK once again, to finish creating the new Linked Report within the new location, as we did for the first Linked Report.

36.  Once the report generates, return to the Home page using the breadcrumb trail atop the page, as we did after creating the first Linked Report.

Let's create the last Linked Report of our practice exercise, for the Pacific Sales Territory users, next.

37.  Click the AdventureWorks Sample Reports folder to re-enter it, once more.

The folder opens.

38.  Click the Show Details button, once again, if required.

39.  Click the Properties icon, underneath the Edit column heading, to the left of RS030_Linked Report (Name column), as before.

The Properties page for RS030_Linked Report opens, once again.

40.  Click the Create Linked Report button, as we did to begin creation of the previous two Linked Reports.

41.  Type the following into the Name field of the next Properties page that opens next.

Sales Reason Comparison

42.  Type the following into the Description field:

Pacific Territory Sales Reason Comparison

43.  Click the Change Location button, as we did earlier.

The Folder Location page opens, once again.

44.  Click the Pacific folder in the folder tree.

The Location box reflects our selection of the Pacific folder.

45.  Click OK to accept the location modification and return to the previous Properties page.

46.  Click OK once again, to finalize creation of the new Linked Report within the new location, as we did for the first and second Linked Reports.

47.  Once the report generates, return to the Home page using the breadcrumb trail atop the page, as we did after creating each of the first two Linked Reports.

Having created the Linked Reports, we are now positioned to customize each to limit the data it returns to the respective Sales Territory Group users. We will handle this in our next section, and then verify the operation of the Linked Reports.








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