Preview the Report and Inspect the Effectiveness of Our Modifications and
preview the report to inspect the results of our handiwork.
Click the Preview
DBJ_OLAP_Report.rdl initializes, and the Year
prompt becomes enabled.
note that the Year parameter is once again displaying the ParameterCaptionIndented
Label field - something we had already changed to the standard ParameterCaption
Label field within the Report Parameters dialog for the respective
parameter TimeYear earlier. It is, perhaps, useful to note, at this
stage, that the Label field has reset itself to this, the Reporting
Services default, when we declared the TimeYear query parameter
within the TimeMonth dataset, as a part of making the latter cascade
properly, based upon the selection we made within the TimeYear picklist.
To restore the standard ParameterCaption Label field, we can simply
return to the Report Parameters dialog for the TimeYear parameter,
and reselect ParameterCaption via the Label field
selector, as shown in Illustration 22.
Illustration 22: Adjusting
the Label Field, which has Reset to Default ... (Optional)
Click the Preview
tab, once again, if you have made the change noted above.
downward pointing arrow on the right side of the Month parameter
note that only two months appear within the Month parameter
picklist - the only populated member months of FY 2005 within the Adventure
Works sample cube. Let's try changing the Year at this point to
demonstrate further the fact the cascading is working effectively:
2004 within the Year parameter picklist.
we make a selection within the Year dropdown selector, the next parameter
within the cascading chain, Month, becomes enabled, once
downward selector button that appears on the right of the Month
parameter, as we did before, to expose the parameter picklist, as
depicted in Illustration 23.
Illustration 23: The
Parameter Picklist Cascades to Display the Member Months of FY 2004
note that twelve months appear within the Month parameter
picklist - the only populated member months of FY 2004 within the
Adventure Works sample cube. We can easily see that the Month
parameter picklist cascades appropriately, based upon the selection we make
in the Year parameter picklist.
2004 within the Month parameter picklist (the bottom entry appearing
within the selector).
verify the operation of the look back capability we have added via the
No. Months to Report parameter. As we can see, the default of 6
appears in the selector.
Leaving the No.
Months to Report parameter selection at default (6),
click the View Report button in the upper right corner of the Preview
tab, to execute the report with current settings.
report executes, and displays its output within six columns, ranging between June
2004 and January 2004, as shown in Illustration 24.
Illustration 24: The
Report Displays a Look Back Span of Six Months
perform another quick test of the parameterized look back capability.
downward pointing arrow to the immediate right of the No. Months to Report parameter
Select the number
3 within the No. Months to Report parameter
Click the View
Report button in the upper right corner of the Preview tab, to
execute the report with current settings.
report executes, displaying its output, this time, within three columns,
ranging between June 2004 and April 2004, as depicted in Illustration
Illustration 25: The
Report Displays a Look Back Span of Three Months
see that the look back parameter we have put into place, No. Months
to Report, accomplishes the intended ends, and enables us to meet the business
need expressed by the information consumers. More generally, we can easily see
that the Reporting Services 2005 environment, with its graphical design
environment, supports easy and flexible design of innovative parameters,
which can be based upon a sizable inventory of MDX functions and
operators, among other options. Further, we have seen how we can design parameters
to cascade, and to otherwise interact in an intuitive, user-friendly
fashion. While we might have gone significantly further in designing function-based
defaults for cascading parameter picklists, or even more elaborate,
dynamically adjusting look back ranges, based upon dates we
selected, and a host of other possibilities, we assure our client colleagues
that, once they understand the basics, we can certainly help them to further enjoy
the myriad more advanced capabilities that are exposed within the current
version of Reporting Services.
further with the report, if desired.
-> Save All to save our work to this point.
-> Exit to leave the design environment,
In this article, we concluded another extended examination, which
we began in Mastering OLAP Reports:
Parameterizing Number of Look Back Periods with the MDX LastPeriods()
Function, Part I,
of parameters in Reporting Services 2005. We continued toward our
primary objective of getting hands-on exposure to parameterizing LastPeriods()
within the sample OLAP report that we cloned in the first half of the article,
where we began our practice session by setting up a scenario within which to
work with a basic OLAP report in exposing the steps involved.
We picked up, in this article, with the clone of an existing sample
report, containing a matrix data region, which we had created, and structurally
modified further for our practice session, in Part I. We also briefly recounted an overview of the MDX LastPeriods()
function we had performed in the first half of this article, discussing details
of the use we intended for the function to support the stated reporting needs
of a hypothetical client. In so doing, we touched upon general concepts
surrounding the parameterization of MDX functions in general, and the LastPeriods()
the second half of our article, we continued our practice session by reviewing
and ensuring the adequacy of the datasets (automatically created when we
added the required query parameters to support date and function
parameterization in Part I) to support report parameters and
meet the stated business requirements. We next added syntax to the Month
dataset query to enforce cascading, based upon the selection made
for the Year parameter by an information consumer at runtime.
Finally, we leveraged the MDX LastPeriods() function, containing index
and Month parameter placeholders, to provide the look back
capability requested by our client. At appropriate junctures throughout both Part I and Part II of this article, we discussed the
interaction between the various components in supporting the runtime parameter
that the end consumer sees, as well as discussing the results obtained with the
development techniques that we exploited.
See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III
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