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Posted Oct 18, 2004

MSSQL Server Reporting Services: Reporting Services Basics: Create a Reusable Template Report - Page 5

By William Pearson

Create a Page Header

Let's create a header, complete with a company logo and title, for our new template report.

1.  Select Report from the main menu atop the Report Designer.

2.  Select Page Header from the menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 8.

Illustration 8: Selecting Page --> Page Header from the Main Menu

We see the new Page Header section atop the Layout area, as shown in Illustration 9.

Click for larger image

Illustration 9: The Header Section Appears atop the Layout Tab (Compacted)

The Page Header section is, unsurprisingly, where we design our page heading for the report. As we find in most enterprise reporting packages, as well as in Microsoft Office and other applications, we can set various properties in the Page Header section that dictate the behavior of the header, such as whether it appears on all pages of the report (the default), the first page only, and so forth. As we have already intimated, we can insert various objects into the header, although data regions (lists, matrices, tables, and charts), and some other objects that are typically associated with the report Body section, cannot be placed here.

3.  Click the Image item in the Toolbox.

4.  Click inside the Header section of the Layout area to begin the process of adding an image.

(Do not be concerned with dragging the image into any specific position, sizing it, etc., here. We will typically perform positioning and the like from the Properties window, where we can do it more precisely.)

Illustration 10 depicts graphically the steps above.

Illustration 10: Adding an Image Item to the Header Section of the Layout Area

As soon as we release the mouse after clicking in the Page Header section, the Image Wizard appears, beginning with the Select the Image Source dialog. We can select from several options here, but for purposes of our practice exercise, we will select the default of Embedded.

5.  Ensure that the radio button to the immediate left of Embedded is selected on the Image Wizard - Select the Image Source dialog, as shown in Illustration 11.

Illustration 11: Adding an Image Item to the Header Section of the Layout Area

As many of us have already discovered, an image item in Reporting Services is an object that contains a reference to an image file that is stored on the report server, embedded within the report, or stored in a database. We will be working with an embedded image in this exercise, to keep things simple, although we will encounter and discuss the other image options in other articles throughout the MSSQL Server 2000 Reporting Services series.

When we embed the image, the Report Designer encodes the image and stores it as text within the report definition (the .rdl file). The primary advantage for using an embedded image is that the image is always available to the report - that is, there is no possibility of it being moved from an external storage location (such as the other types of location options that appear on the Select Image Source dialog entail), and not being accessible by the report at runtime. An unsurprising disadvantage in using this option is the fact that it can bloat the report definition; embedding several images can dramatically increase size, which might not be desirable in some instances.

6.  Click Next.

The Choose the Embedded Image dialog appears.

7.  Click the New Image button.

The Import Image dialog appears, affording us the opportunity to locate and select the image file we wish to embed in the template report header.

8.  Navigate to the following folder within the Program Files directory (or it's equivalent, if your installation of Reporting Services is located somewhere besides the default):

Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Reporting Services\ReportManager\en\help

9.  Select the following image file:


NOTE: I selected this image file, from several images that are typically installed with Reporting Services, in an attempt to make the location and selection of an image file easy. It might be possible that this image is not in place on your machine, or that you cannot otherwise access it. In that case, substitute an image of your choice that you can locate. The point here is to simply walk through the steps of adding an image, such as a logo, to our example template report header.

The Import Image dialog appears as depicted in Illustration 12.

Illustration 12: Selecting an Image for Embedding

10.  Click Open.

The Choose the Embedded Image dialog reappears, and displays our selected image file as the default selection. The dialog appears as depicted in Illustration 13.

Illustration 13: Choose the Embedded Image Dialog, with our Selection as Default

11.  Click Next.

The Completing the Image Wizard dialog appears, and displays the details surrounding our image selection. At this stage, we can review our settings and back up to make changes, should that be necessary. The dialog appears as shown in Illustration 14.

Illustration 14: The Completing the Image Wizard Dialog

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