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Posted Apr 17, 2006

Report Builder: Creating a Report Model - Page 3

By William Pearson


Define a Data Source

Defining a Data Source, as we have discovered in past articles, is typically the first step we take with most BI Projects – be they Analysis Services, Report Model, or other varieties. A project can have multiple Data Sources, within which we are essentially defining the connection string used to connect to the actual source of our data. While we can define connections to source databases on remote computers in the business environment, we will, in this article, be working with one of the sample databases that are available to us when we install MSSQL Server 2005, the AdventureWorks database.

Let's create a Data Source within our new RS028 Intro Report Model Project by taking the following steps:

1.  Right-click Data Sources folder within the Solution Explorer.

2.  Select Add New Data Source from the context menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 9.

Illustration 9: Initial Step in Defining a New Data Source

The Data Source Wizard appears, opening with the Welcome to the Data Source Wizard page, as shown in Illustration 10.

Click for larger image

Illustration 10: Welcome to the Data Source Wizard ...

3.  Click Next.

The Select how to define the connection page appears. This page allows us to define a Data Source based upon a new or existing connection. (It also allows us to base a Data Source upon a connection that has been previously created, as long as the existing Data Source definition exists within the same project, within another project housed in the same solution, or from within another Report Model Project.)

The Select how to define the connection page appears.

4.  Ensuring that the radio button to the left of Create a data source based on an existing or new connection is selected, click New.

The Connection Manager dialog appears.

5.  Ensure that .Net Providers\SqlClient Data Provider is selected in the Provider selection box atop the Connection Manager dialog.

6.  Type \ select the appropriate server name / server name with instance into the Server name box.

We can substitute "localhost" or "localhost\<instance name>" here, if it is appropriate to our environment.

7.  Select / complete the appropriate authentication choice for your environment in the section labeled Log on to the server (I selected the radio button to the left of Use Windows Authentication in the lab environment in which I prepared this article).

8.  Select AdventureWorks in the Select or enter a database name selector box, within the Connect to a database section of the dialog.

The Connection Manager dialog appears similar to that depicted in Illustration 11.

Illustration 11: Connection Manager Dialog in My Lab Environment

9.  Click the Test Connection button (in the bottom left corner of the Connection Manager dialog) to ascertain that we have a valid connection.

We receive a positive confirmation message, Test connection succeeded, assuming settings in the dialog are in accordance with the above steps, as appropriate for our own environments. The confirmation message box appears as shown in Illustration 12.

Illustration 12: Confirmation Message Indicating Successful Connection Test

10.  Click OK to dismiss the message box and return to the Connection Manager dialog.

11.  Click OK on the Connection Manager dialog to accept our settings and create the data connection.

We return to the Select how to define the connection page of the Data Source Wizard, which appears similar to that depicted in Illustration 13.

Illustration 13: Select How to Define the Connection Page with New Data Connection

12.  Click Next.

The Completing the Wizard page appears.

13.  Replace the name that appears in the Data source name box with the following:

RS028_Adventure Works

The Completing the Wizard page appears, as shown in Illustration 14.

Illustration 14: Completing the Wizard ...

14.  Click Finish to create the new Data Source, and to dismiss the Data Source Wizard.

The Wizard closes, and the new Data Source appears in the Data Sources folder within the Solution Explorer as depicted in Illustration 15.

Illustration 15: The New Data Source Appears in the Solution Explorer

Having created a Report Model Project, and defined a Data Source, we are ready, to define a Data Source View.

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