Chapter 19

Reporting for Duty, Sir! A Look at Reporting Services

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN IN THIS CHAPTER:

  • Which components of SQL Server exist to deliver reports
  • The lifecycle of a report
  • How to use Analysis Services with Reporting Services to deliver ad hoc reports
  • How to use SSDT to create a report server project
  • How to deploy reports to the report server

After all the queries have been written, after all the stored procedures have been run, there remains a rather important thing you need to do in order to make your data useful — make it available to end users.

Reporting is one of those things that seems incredibly simple, but turns out to be rather tricky. You see, you can’t simply start sticking numbers in front of people’s faces; the numbers must make sense and, if at all possible, capture the attention of the person for whom you’re reporting. To produce reports that actually get used and, therefore, are useful, there are two things to keep in mind:

  • Use just the right amount of data: You should not try to do too much in one report; nor should you do too little. A report that is a jumble of numbers is going to quickly lose a reader’s attention, and you’ll find that it isn’t used after the first few times it is generated. Likewise, a barren report will get just a glance and get tossed without any real thought. Find a balance that makes each report both complete and concise.
  • Make it appealing: Another important element in reporting is making it look nice and pleasing to the eye ...

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