Preparation: Set up the Reporting Services Environment
For purposes of our practice session, we will create a copy of the Foodmart Sales sample report (one of several report samples that are available for installation with Reporting Services). I often use a "clone" of an existing sample report in my Reporting Services articles because creating a fresh report in each article would mean spending a great deal of time in preparation before getting to the subject matter upon which the article focuses. In addition, 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.
Before we can work with a clone of the Foodmart Sales report, we need to create a Reporting Services project in the Visual Studio.Net 2003 Report Designer environment. Streamlining, and then making the enhancements to the report to add the functionality to support the subject of our lesson, can be done easily within the Reporting Services Report Designer 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. If you already have a project within which you like to work with training or development objects, you can simply skip the Create a Reporting Services Project section.
If the sample FoodMart 2000 Analysis Services database or the Foodmart Sales report was not created / installed as part of the initial installation of the associated application, if either was removed prior to your beginning this article, or if either or both applications have yet to be installed, etc., see the respective Books Online or other documentation for the necessary procedures to prepare for the exercises that follow.
Create a Reporting Services Project
To begin, we will launch Reporting Services' Report Designer, found in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003.
1. Click Start.
2. Navigate to, and click, the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 shortcut in the Programs group, as appropriate.
The equivalent on my PC appears as depicted in Illustration 2.
Illustration 2: Beginning in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 ...
Visual Studio .NET 2003 opens at the Start page.
3. Select File --> New from the main menu.
4. Click Project from the cascading menu, as shown in Illustration 3.
Illustration 3: Selecting a New Project
The New Project dialog appears. Business Intelligence Projects appears in the Project Types tree, indicating an installation of Reporting Services.
5. Click Business Intelligence Projects in the Project Types tree, if necessary.
6. Click Report Project in the Templates list.
7. Type the following into the Name box, leaving other settings at default:
8. Navigate to a location in which to place the Report Project files.
The New Project dialog appears, with our input, as depicted in Illustration 4.
Illustration 4: The New Projects Dialog, with Addition
Our new project appears in the Solution Explorer (upper right corner of the Visual Studio .NET interface), as we see in Illustration 5.
Illustration 5: The New Project Appears in the Solution Explorer
Having created a Report Project, we are ready to proceed with creating the new report clone.