our client colleagues that, since the default position for the legend is to the
right of the chart area, and since our Line chart may be wider than expected,
due to its nature and the amount of data we are presenting, placing the legend
underneath the chart will offer another means of compressing the overall
the Show legend checkbox is checked, in the upper left corner of the tab.
the Column radio button is selected, in the upper left corner of the tab.
bottom middle button underneath the Position selection diagram, to align the Legend
box underneath the Column chart area.
Click the Legend
Style button that appears immediately beneath the checkbox labeled Display
legend inside plot area (ensure that the box remains unchecked).
Properties dialog box appears, defaulted to the Font tab.
settings, listed in Table 6 below, within the Font tab of the Style Properties
Table 6: Style Properties Dialog Font Tab
The Font tab
of the Style Properties dialog appears, with our settings, as depicted in Illustration
Illustration 38: Font Tab of the Style Properties Dialog Box, with Settings
the presence of the Border and Line and Fill tabs, but we will leave the
settings within each at default, at this point.
Click OK to
accept changes, and to exit the Style Properties dialog box.
to the Legend tab, once again, where we will leave all else at default. The Legend
tab appears, with our settings, as shown in Illustration 39.
Illustration 39: Chart Properties Dialog Box Legend Tab with Our Settings
move to the 3D Effect tab in the next subsection.
3D Effect Tab
Click the 3D
We inform our client colleagues that the 3D Effect tab
offers us a means of transforming the ordinarily flat appearance of our Column
chart to a highly customizable, three dimensional presentation. Here we can
enable 3-D visual effects (via the checkbox to the immediate left of the Display
chart with 3-D visual effect label). The four variables that we can manipulate
Once 3-D visual effects are enabled, a slider becomes
enabled for each of these variables, which we can move to adjust each variable
until we achieve just the degree of readability we desire within the chart.
leave the settings of the 3D Effect tab at default at this point. The 3D Effect
tab appears, with default settings, as depicted in Illustration 40.
Illustration 40: Chart Properties Dialog Box 3D Effect Tab with Our Settings
We will examine
the final remaining tab, Filters, in the next subsection.
Click the Filters
The Filters tab is but one option we have, within Reporting
Services, to filter the data that is displayed within our chart. We advise our
client colleagues that we performed all desired filtering at the dataset level
earlier within our practice session. When this is adequate (that is, when we
can afford to filter at the dataset level for the entire report) we may achieve
performance gains at report runtime, due to the overall retrieval of less data
from the Analysis Services data source. However, we caution the client
representatives, due consideration should be given to the various points at
which we can filter within a given report, to ascertain that we optimize
performance while retaining complete and accurate information for presentation.
The Filters tab allows us to choose dataset columns and / or
expressions to filter data at the chart level. This tab might make sense as a
filter point if we were, say, using multiple data regions (charts, matrices,
tables, lists, or a combination of these, perhaps) that were sharing the same
common dataset(s), but where each region had different filtering requirements
and needed to present different subsets of data from the underlying dataset(s).
Whatever our needs, Reporting Services, once again, offers flexibility in ways
to meet the challenges involved.
tab appears, with default settings, as shown in Illustration 41.
Illustration 41: Chart Properties Dialog Box Filters Tab with Our Settings
Click OK to
accept all the settings we have made in the multi-tabbed Chart Properties
The Chart Properties dialog closes,
returning us to the placeholder chart item in Report Designer, Layout tab. We
will conclude our practice session in the next section, where we will verify
the operation of our new Line chart.
Verify Operation of the Line Chart item
Lets ascertain the
accuracy and completeness of our construction efforts. We will execute the
report with the following steps:
Click the Preview
tab, to the right of the Layout tab, atop the design surface.
within the Product Category report parameter picklist, as depicted in Illustration
Illustration 42: Select Bikes as the Product Category ...
Click the View
The new report
generates, displaying both the original matrix and new Line chart data regions.
as required to focus upon the new Line chart data region.
The new Line
chart appears as shown in Illustration 43.
Illustration 43: The Line Chart Report, Preview Tab
easily verify the displayed Line chart totals against the matrix data region
(by adding together each of the quarters totals for any given Territory Group
/ Sales Reason combination, and comparing that total to the corresponding total
in the matrix data region).
chart meets the expressed business requirements and demonstrates many details
surrounding its property settings. The client representatives express satisfaction
with our efforts, and state that, with a few cosmetic changes (including the
removal of the existing matrix data region; the subsequent realignment of the Line
chart on the canvas; and conditional formatting, perhaps, to make the font
colors / line colors do specific things), the report will be ready for
deployment to the targeted information consumer group. Moreover, they assure
us that the details they have examined within the practical exercise we have
undertaken can be extrapolated to their creation efforts of other Line charts.
further with the report, if desired.
with the report, click the Layout tab.
Select File -> Save RS064_Simple Line_Chart.rdl As ... to save our
work, up to this point, to a location where it can be easily accessed for later
can see from our examination above, Reporting Services offers a wide range of
options for Line chart creation and manipulation to assist us in the delivery
of information within the business environment. We extend our examination of chart types,
specifically examining each type, together with the properties and methods we
can manipulate for the precise presentations we seek to be able to deliver, in
other articles of this series.
Select File -> Exit to leave the design environment, when ready (saving
as desired), and to close the Business Intelligence Development Studio.
In this article, we
performed a relatively straightforward examination of the Reporting Services Line chart type, from
within a copy of an existing sample Reporting Services 2005 report that we created
for this purpose. Our focus, as we stated in the introduction, was to create a
basic, working Line chart, using an Analysis Services data source (the Adventure Works DW sample OLAP
database / Adventure Works cube that accompanies the installation of Reporting
various characteristics of the Line chart type as we progressed.
We examined relevant chart
properties, and got some hands-on exposure to the manipulation of those
properties to support the delivery of information to meet the needs of a hypothetical group of
organizational information consumers. We noted that this article might serve as a basis for
other, more advanced articles within the MSSQL Server Reporting Services series,
from which we use the Line chart we created here as a platform from which to
concentrate on in-depth procedures and nuances that we can use to achieve
precision in meeting specific requirements and data presentation effects that
we might deliver in the business environment.
About the MSSQL Server
Reporting Services Series ...
article is a member of the series MSSQL Server Reporting
monthly column is designed to introduce MSSQL Server Reporting Services (Reporting
Services), presenting an overview of its features, with tips and techniques
for real-world use. For more information on the series in general, please see
my initial Database
Journal article, A New
Paradigm for Enterprise Reporting.
See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III