About the Series ...
article is a member of the series MSSQL Server 2000 Reporting Services.
The series is designed to introduce MSSQL Server 2000 Reporting Services ("Reporting
Services"), with the objective of presenting an overview of its features,
together with many tips and techniques for real-world use. For more
information on the series, as well as the hardware / software requirements
to prepare for the exercises we will undertake, please see my initial Database Journal article, A New Paradigm for Enterprise Reporting.
assumptions underlying the series are that you have correctly installed
Reporting Services, including Service Pack 1, along with the applications
upon which it relies, and that you have access and the other rights /
privileges required to complete the steps we undertake in my articles. For
details on the specifics of the adjustments necessary to quickly allow full
freedom to complete the exercises in this and subsequent articles, as well as
important assumptions regarding rights and privileges in general, please see
earlier articles in the series, as well as the Reporting Services Books
article also relies upon sample files that are installed along with Reporting
Services in a "typical" scenario. If the samples have not been
installed in, or were removed from, your environment, the samples can be found
on the Reporting Services installation CD.
About the BlackBelt Articles ...
have stated in earlier BlackBelt articles, one of the greatest
challenges in writing tutorial / procedural articles is creating each article
to be a freestanding document that is complete unto itself. This is important,
because it means that readers can complete the lesson without reference to
previous articles or access to objects created elsewhere. When our objective
is the coverage of a specific technique surrounding one or more components of a
report, a given administrative function surrounding all reports, and other
scenarios where the focus of the session is not the creation of reports,
per se, can be challenging because a report or reports often has to be in place
before we can begin to cover the material with which the article concerns
articles represent an attempt to minimize the setup required in simply getting
to a point within an article where we can actually perform hands-on practice
with the component(s) under consideration. We will attempt to use existing
report samples or other "prefabricated" objects that either come
along as part of the installation of the applications involved, or that are
readily accessible to virtually any organization that has installed the
application. While we will often have to make modifications to the sample
involved (we will actually create a copy, to allow the original sample to
remain intact), to refine it to provide the backdrop we need to proceed with
the object or procedure upon which we wish to concentrate, we will still save a
great deal of time and distraction in getting to our objective. In some cases,
we will have to start from scratch with preparation, but my intention with the BlackBelt
articles will be to avoid this, if at all possible.
more information about the BlackBelt articles, see the section
entitled "About the BlackBelt Articles" in BlackBelt
Components: Manage Nulls in OLAP Reports.
optimization of RS' performance is, beyond argument, one of the more important
functions of the Administrator. In evaluating performance from various
perspectives at the Administrative level, one readily useful source of
information is the data we can obtain from the logs created by the system
itself. Reporting Services generates a number of log files to capture
information about server operations, status, and so forth. Within this group
of logs, which we will explore individually within prospective articles within
our series, the Report Server Execution Log is a great place to start in
setting up a basic performance and auditing analysis capability.
Log captures data specific to
individual reports, including when a given report was run, identification of
the user who ran it, where the report was delivered, and which rendering format
In this session, we
Logging in general, and the steps involved in creating a useful data source
for reporting purposes from the log as it appears in its native form;
potential complementary functions we can leverage from implementing Execution
database to store the Execution Log data;
the location of the files provided with Reporting Services to assist us in
transforming Execution Log data to a useful reporting data source;
Open and execute the table
creation script provided to create the schema for our new reporting database;
execute the DTS package provided to transform the Execution Log
data and to populate the new database tables.