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Posted Dec 9, 2008

Simple Column Chart for Analysis Services Data - Page 3

By William Pearson

Modify the Report Layout to Accommodate Our Focus

Next, we will make some changes to the report layout to more easily accommodate the focus of our practice session. We will start with a larger report canvas.

1.  Click the Layout tab atop the Report Designer.

2.  Click the report body at some point below the matrix data region that is in place.

The Body bar assumes the focus (becomes darker). Body also appears in the Properties pane (by default to the lower right of the design environment). The point here is to ascertain that the report body is, indeed, selected.

3.  Pass the cursor over the lower edge of the report body, until it becomes a “two-headed arrow.”

4.  Enlarge the report canvas to about the 2-1/2 point on the scale on the left side of the Layout tab, stretching it downward to create empty space below the matrix data region on the report body, as depicted in Illustration 6.

Stretch the Canvas Downward to Create Empty Space in the Report Body
Illustration 6: Stretch the Canvas Downward to Create Empty Space in the Report Body

Because, from this point, we will be performing procedures that relate only to the chart type with which we are working in this article, and because we create similar files for different chart types in other articles, let’s rename the .rdl file to clearly associate it with this article and the simple Column chart type.

5.  Select File from the main menu.

6.  Select Save DBJ_OLAP_Report.rdl As ....

7.  Type the following into the File name box of the Save File As box that appears next:


8.  Click the Save button in the lower right corner of the Save File As box.

The Save File As box is dismissed and we see the new name appear in the Solution Explorer. We are now ready to begin the procedural section of our practice session.

Procedure: Create a Column Chart within the Report

Add a Chart Control to the Report Canvas

At this point, we will drag the Chart item from the Report Items listed within the Toolbox pane (the position of which is defaulted to the left of the Layout tab). Once the general control is placed on the report canvas, we will adjust it, setting properties as appropriate to meet the report specifications.

1.  Select View from the main menu.

2.  Select Toolbox from the menu, which appears as partially shown in Illustration 7, to place the Toolbox within easy reach (if it already appears, simply disregard this step).

Calling the Toolbox to View (Partial View Menu Shown)
Illustration 7: Calling the Toolbox to View (Partial View Menu Shown)

The toolbox window should appear similar to that depicted in Illustration 8. Mine is pinned to the upper left corner of the design environment, where I find it most convenient. This is, of course, subject to your own choices. (Note also that I dock my Fields and Server Explorer panes in this area to maximize design real estate, as an aside.)

The Toolbox, Pinned to the Upper Left Corner of the Design Environment
Illustration 8: The Toolbox, Pinned to the Upper Left Corner of the Design Environment

3.  Click the Chart item (at the bottom of the Toolbox pane).

The cursor becomes a small chart icon in combination with crosshairs when held above the layout. This indicates that we can click to “anchor” the point, from which we wish to draw the box that the chart will inhabit.

4.  Click on the canvas, below the existing matrix, approximately as shown in Illustration 9.

Placing the Chart Selection onto the Report Campus ...
Illustration 9: Placing the Chart Selection onto the Report Campus ...

The chart item appears, in its generic manifestation, as depicted in Illustration 10.

The Generic Chart Item Appears
Illustration 10: The Generic Chart Item Appears

NOTE: Should you accidentally place or drop the chart item into a position that is not satisfactory, you can simply move the item by clicking inside the chart item, then pointing to the now shaded border of the chart item, to drag it to a new location.

Clicking again on the border will also allow you to expand / contract the chart shape. (The nuances are easy to learn with a little practice.) Double-clicking the chart item will make the “drop regions,” seen above, appear.

5.  Pass the cursor over the left border of the chart item, until it becomes a four-arrow icon.

6.  Click and drag the chart item to the left side of the report canvas.

7.  Pass the cursor over the right border, and over the small square that appears about midway down the right side, until the cursor becomes a simple double-headed arrow.

8.  Click and drag the right border of the chart item, widening the chart (along with the underlying canvas) to approximately the “11” point on the ruler appearing atop the Layout tab.

The chart item is now in place, and we are ready to specify its “simple Column chart” nature, as well as to populate it with the primary dataset that is already in place.

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