Chapter 3. Report Design Essentials

Reporting Services is a highly adaptable and customizable reporting platform. Unlike many other reporting products, Reporting Services reports are composed of individual report items and data region components. The report itself doesn't consume data but acts as a container or canvas for the objects that do visualize the data. Each of these components consumes data from report datasets. Data regions and report items may be embedded at multiple levels. This design approach provides a great deal of flexibility and opportunity when it comes to building creative business reporting solutions.


Tabular, or table-like, reports have a fixed number of columns that typically correspond to static fields in the underlying data source—like a spreadsheet or grid. Beyond a simple list of records, tabular reports can be grouped with headers, footers, and subtotals for each band of grouped records. Grouping is performed on one or more column values, with group values either repeated on each row, appearing only once in the grouped field column, or appearing only in the group header. Aggregated values for numeric columns can be displayed in the group header or footer. Aggregation is performed using one of several aggregate functions, such as SUM or AVG. Some aggregations can be used with non-numeric columns, such as COUNT or COUNTDISTINCT.

This section reviews the essential techniques for designing table reports. The same techniques are used ...

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