Chapter 7. Designing Data Access

Chapter 6 used the new Report Builder 2.0 to design some simple reports. As of the initial release of SQL Server 2008, Report Builder 2.0 doesn't include the Graphical Query Designer and Report Wizard tools; these features are due to be added in a service pack or subsequent product release. To demonstrate the full report design experience, this chapter uses Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS). The differences between the two report designers are minor enough that it really shouldn't make a difference, and you should be able to use either.

A big part of the report design process is often query design. In nearly all cases, your reports are based on a data source of some kind. Therefore, the first order of business when designing a report is to create a connection and define the queries necessary to retrieve the report data. This chapter discusses the essential first steps of report design — how to consume data. Although this is typically simple and straightforward, there are several options to be considered when designing data sources and queries. Although SQL Server Reporting Services is packaged with the SQL Server database product, it may be used with other database products as data sources. This chapter discusses the following topics:

  • Creating stand-alone and shared data sources

  • Designing queries and datasets

  • Grouping and filtering data in a T-SQL query

  • Using parameters to filter data at the database

  • Using parameters to filter data at the ...

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