About the Series …
This is the eighth article 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. I will also use the column as a vehicle for
sharing my conviction in Reporting Services’ role as a new paradigm in
enterprise reporting. As I advise clients on a more and more frequent basis these
days, this is the future in a big way. I hope you will consider my input
valuable, and that you will investigate closely the savings and advanced
functionality that will soon be available to anyone with an MSSQL Server 2000
(and beyond) license.
Important: For information concerning the applications to which you will
require access to benefit the most from our series, please see our initial Database
Journal article, A New Paradigm for Enterprise Reporting.
many of the articles in this series, it is assumed that you have prepared
security to allow "power user" status in virtually every regard. 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 our series, as well as the Reporting Services Books Online.
Reporting services enables us to present both summarized and
detailed data in colorful, easy-to-read charts of various types. The Master
Chart Reports subset of MSSQL Server 2000 Reporting
Services series will demonstrate how to create chart reports of
various types, and how to use the abundant features contained in Reporting
Services that enable us to use them to make report data more meaningful and
easier to understand. We can choose from a number of chart layouts and types
within the Reporting Services chart data region options. (A data region is an area on
a report that contains data from a data source that is repeated. The types of
data regions are list, matrix, table, and chart.)
We can also format chart objects in a host of ways, drill
down to see the details behind the graphical summaries, combine chart reports
with other types of reports, , and leverage myriad other options in the
powerful Reporting Services tool set.
While the Books Online give
step-by-step instructions for assembling charts, in some cases (in a handful of
tutorials of somewhat limited scope), this digital documentation focuses more
on definitions and purposes of fields and settings than on building a specific
kind of report from scratch. This non-linear approach is often great for context-sensitive
help, when we need a reminder or have a question regarding "what exactly
does the system want in this field?" or "what are my options here?"
and so forth. This sort of documentation is usually quite helpful from the
perspective of a report author who already has a general idea of the steps
involved in creating a report. However, the issue with a non-linear
documentation system, and an issue that has become more and more pervasive, as
applications have evolved documentation to online formats, is that it does not
necessarily provide a quick means of learning overall, start-to-finish
procedures, before homing in on specific setting options of interest. All
information is, in effect, contained in a general pool, organized only in a
multidirectional, hyperlink manner.
The focus in most of my articles is a full set of, albeit
sometimes simple, procedures that are designed to underlie a more in-depth
study of specific property settings and so forth in subsequent articles. My
objective is to allow a reader to complete a report, or a report component, in
a manner that is insulated from non-linear distractions.
article, we will begin our exploration of chart reports with an examination of
the humble pie chart. While virtually all of us have interacted with these
kinds of charts before, (if not in the context of report authoring, then almost
certainly as an information consumer), we will find that the pie chart item in
Reporting Services is both feature-rich and easy to use. The various chart
types in Reporting Services have different properties (and different dialog
boxes, as a result) because of a wide array of features. The pie chart is a
good place to begin a review of the chart types, because it contains many of
the basic features common to most chart types, but not an effusive number that
are highly "pie-chart specific."
session we will:
Create a chart
report in Report Designer;
Locate a Chart
Item on the new report;
chart item with the required data.
use of the Data Label property;
palette for the chart report we create;
properties we can select for the pie chart.
report to verify its operation.