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Posted Feb 26, 2008

Support Parameterization from Analysis Services - Page 7

By William Pearson

Verification: Preview the Report and Inspect the Effectiveness of Our Solution

Let’s preview the report to inspect the results of our handiwork.

1.  Click the Preview tab.

DBJ_OLAP_Report.rdl initializes, and the first prompt (based upon the pre-existing ProductCategory parameter), becomes enabled.

2.  Leave the Product Category prompt selection at its default of” Bikes, Components.”

3.  Click the downward pointing arrow on the right side of the Year selector.

4.  Select CY 2004 within the Year parameter picklist.

We notice the absence of an “All Periods” selection within the Year parameter’s picklist – as we might have expected, because we filtered out that row of the respective dataset (as we did for the Quarter and Month parameter supporting datasets).

5.  Select CY Q2 from the Quarter parameter picklist.

6.  Select the month of June in the Month parameter picklist.

We notice at this stage that the parameter picklists do not cascade. Moreover, it might occur to us that intelligent defaults would give our consumers a better runtime experience. We will address these two items in an article devoted specifically to these subjects.

7.  Click the View Report button.

The report executes quickly and returns the data for the selections we have made within our parameter picklists, in a manner similar to that shown in Illustration 51.

Illustration 51: The Report Parameters Operate Largely as Expected ...

Our verification process has demonstrated the effective support of Report Parameters through the creation and use of objects within the Analysis Services layer of our BI solution. We will extend our examination of Analysis Services supported parameterization yet further in a subsequent article, where we will generate a solution to provide cascading picklists, and to meet the need of our colleagues to provide intuitive parameter defaults to information consumers at report runtime.

NOTE: Please consider saving the .rdl file we have created to this point for use in the article that follows, so as to avoid the need to repeat the preparation process we have undertaken above.

8.  Experiment further with the report, if desired.

9.  When finished with the report, click the Layout tab.

10.  Select File -> Save DBJ_OLAP_Report.rdl As ... to save our work, up to this point, to a location where it can be easily accessed for the next article within our series.

11.  Select File -> Exit to leave the design environment, when ready.

Conclusion ...

In this article, we continued the extended examination of Parameters in Reporting Services that we began in Mastering OLAP Reports: Parameters for Analysis Services Reporting, Pt. I, and Mastering OLAP Reports: Parameters for Analysis Services Reporting, Pt. II, and which we continued in Reporting Services: Customize Automatically Created Parameter Support Objects and Parameter Support Objects, Pt II: Support OLAP Parameter Defaults with Datasets.

Working with the basic OLAP report we created in Reporting Services: Customize Automatically Created Parameter Support Objects, we once more began within the scenario we established within Parameter Support Objects, Pt II: Support OLAP Parameter Defaults with Datasets, with an objective of meeting the need of the hypothetical client to support parameterization, including picklists, within the report. This time, however, we exposed the steps involved in offering a simple means of supporting our solution from within the Analysis Services layer of the integrated Microsoft BI solution.

In examining the requested addition of parameter defaults within a sample OLAP report, we began with a review of the concept of parameterization in general, and briefly overviewed options for supporting report parameterization among the three primary layers of the integrated Microsoft business intelligence solution. We then opened the sample Report Server project, AdventureWorks Sample Reports, and ascertained connectivity of its shared Analysis Services data source. We continued our preparation for the practice session by creating a clone of an existing sample OLAP report, containing a Matrix data region, with which to perform our practice exercises. We then made structural modifications to the clone report, to prepare for our practice exercise session.

We discussed, and then implemented, an approach, from within Analysis Services, to meet the need of our hypothetical client to support Report Parameters from the Analysis Services layer of the integrated Microsoft BI solution. We then accessed and employed the new Analysis Services parameter support components from within Reporting Services. Throughout our article, we overviewed how the various components of the parameter support solution we proposed are tied together, as a part of our hands-on practice session, where we created and aligned the necessary components within Analysis Services and Reporting Services to support our runtime parameters. Finally, we previewed the report to observe the effectiveness of our solution in runtime action, and looked ahead to our next article, where we will examine the establishment of cascading picklists into our current solution, together with the addition of intuitive parameter defaults at runtime, for greater user-friendliness and overall operational efficiencies.

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

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

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