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Posted Feb 26, 2004

MSSQL Server Reporting Services: The Authoring Phase: Overview Part I - Page 8

By William Pearson

6.  Click, and then drag, the Category field from the Fields window to the left-most cell in the Detail row of the newly created table.

7.  Drag the SubCategory field to the middle cell in the Detail row, to the immediate right of the Category field.

8.  Drag the Product field to the right-most cell of the Detail row, to the right of the SubCategory field.

9.  Right-click the top of the right-most column (where we installed the Product field in the last step), as shown in Illustration 21, to open the context menu.

Click for larger image

Illustration 21: Right-Click the Top of the New Product Column

10.  Select Insert Column to the Right on the context menu (circled in Illustration 21 above).

A new, empty column appears.

11.  Drag the List_Price field to the Detail row cell in the newly appearing column, to the right of the Product field inserted above.

The table appears as shown in Illustration 22.

Illustration 22: The Table, with our Field Additions, on the Design Surface

12.  Click the Preview tab atop the Report Designer.

Report Designer generates a preview of the report that appears, within a moment, as partially shown in Illustration 23.

Illustration 23: The Report Preview (Partial View)

We have thus generated our basic report, entraining the data from our source, via a query, and placing it within the Report Design using a table.

Completing the report requires several steps that we will take up in our next article, The Authoring Phase: Overview Part II. We will rejoin our report file within the article, to accomplish the setting of various properties, grouping and other arrangements to meet the needs of the information consumers for whom we have designed and begun our example report.

13.  Select File --> Save Report1.rdl as ... from the main menu, as depicted in Illustration 24.

Illustration 24: Saving the Report Definition File

The Save File as dialog appears.

14.  Navigate to a convenient storage location.

15.  Type RS02_Authoring in the File name box of the dialog.

16.  Click Save to save the file as named.

We see the file appear in the Solution Explorer pane (upper right corner of the Report Designer), within the Reports directory. This shows, as an aside, the manner in which we can author numerous reports within a project, based upon the same data source / query combination. We will see in later articles how useful this can be in creating similar reports in an enterprise reporting environment that have differences in filters, among a host of other attributes.

17.  Select File --> Exit from the main menu.

18.  Save the Project and associated files, when prompted.

We will return to this Report Project, and the Report File and associated components that it contains, in our next article, where we will conclude our overview of Authoring.

Summary and Conclusion ...

In this article, we began an overview of the first of the main phases of the enterprise reporting life cycle. We introduced the article with observations surrounding the objectives of the MSSQL Server 2000 Reporting Services series, as well as the objectives of the initial phase overview articles, and then discussed the Authoring phase in general. We began an exploration of the steps involved in Authoring a blank report, mentioning in passing the general ways of creating reports, each of which we will revisit numerous times in later articles.

After introducing the Authoring phase, we began a practice example in which we set out to create a tabular report. First, we created the Report Project to house the Report File that we created next. Within the Report File, we established a Data Connection, and then built a simple SQL query to use against our specified data source, the AdventureWorks2000 sample OLTP database. We then designed the report Layout, and, finally, added data from the dataset resulting from our query.

» See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III

Discuss this article in the MSSQL Server 2000 Reporting Services Forum.

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