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Posted Nov 25, 2009

Introducing the Tablix Data Region in Reporting Services 2008 - Page 3

By William Pearson

Ascertain Connectivity of the Shared Data Source

Let’s ensure we have a working data source. Many of us will be running “side-by-side” installations of MSSQL Server 2005 and MSSQL Server 2008. This means that our installation of the latter will need to be referenced as a server / instance combination, versus a server name alone. (The default for the AdventureWorks 2008 Sample Reports solution’s connection is localhost, which will not work correctly in such a side-by-side installation, as the MSSQL Server 2005 instance will have assumed the identity of the local PC by default.)

From within the open AdventureWorks 2008 Sample Reports solution, within the SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio, take the following steps:

1.  Double-click AdventureWorks2008.rds (depicted circled in Illustration 7) within the Shared Data Sources folder seen in Solution Explorer.

The Open the AdventureWorks2008.rds Shared Data Source
Illustration 7: The Open the AdventureWorks2008.rds Shared Data Source

The Shared Data Source Properties dialog opens, showing default settings.

2.  Click the Edit button on the Shared Data Source dialog.

The Connection Properties dialog opens, and appears with default settings similar to those shown in Illustration 8.

The Connection Properties Dialog with Default Settings
Illustration 8: The Connection Properties Dialog with Default Settings ...

We note that the default Server name is “localhost.” While this might prove an adequate setting for a PC with only MSSQL Server 2008 installed (default instance), in many of our environments, the requirement is for the server / instance combination that correctly identifies the correct MSSQL Server 2008 instance. (Clicking the Test Connection button at this point will provide confirmation as to whether we need to make this change).

3.  If appropriate, type the correct server / instance name into the Server name box of the Connection Properties dialog. (Mine is MOTHER\MOTHER2K8, as depicted in Illustration 9.)

The Connection Properties Dialog with Corrected Settings
Illustration 9: The Connection Properties Dialog with Corrected Settings ...

4.  Ensure that authentication settings are correct for the local environment.

5.  Click the Test Connection button.

A message box appears, indicating that the Test connection succeeded, assuming that our changes (or lack of same, as circumstances might dictate) are appropriate. The message box appears as shown in Illustration 10.

Testing Positive for Connectivity
Illustration 10: Testing Positive for Connectivity ...

6.  Click OK to dismiss the message box.

7.  Click OK to accept changes, as appropriate, and to dismiss the Connection Properties dialog.

The Shared Data Source dialog appears, with our modified settings, similar to those depicted in Illustration 11.

The Shared Data Source Dialog with Modified Settings
Illustration 11: The Shared Data Source Dialog with Modified Settings ...

8.  Click OK to close the Shared Data Source dialog, and to return to the development environment.

In Part 2 of this article we will continue our introduction to the tablix data region by opening the Territory Sales Drilldown 2008 sample report. We will then be positioned to examine the properties and settings, as well as the operation, of a tablix data region that is employed in a fully functional report.

9.  Select File -> Exit to leave the design environment, when ready (saving as desired), and to close the Business Intelligence Development Studio.


In this, Part 1 of an introduction to the Reporting Services 2008 tablix data region, we began a discussion of the tablix and its general uses and characteristics. We stated that this overview would serve to prepare us for other articles where we employ the tablix data region in reporting from an Analysis Services data source, and demonstrate properties (and creative ways to manipulate them within our reports) and methods that we can leverage to format and deliver information to meet the business needs of our clients and employees.

In introducing the tablix data region, we briefly discussed preparation for our practice session, specifically touching upon how to obtain and install the samples for Reporting Services 2008. We then opened the sample Report Server solution, AdventureWorks 2008 Sample Reports, and ascertained connectivity of its shared MSSQL Server 2008 data source. Throughout this first half of the article, we discussed basic features of the tablix data region, and looked forward to Part 2, where we will further discuss the basic features of the tablix data region, and examine the supporting properties and settings within an existing sample report.

About the MSSQL Server Reporting Services Series ...

This article is a member of the series MSSQL Server Reporting Services. The 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

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