Chapter 8. Advanced Report Design

In Chapter 5, you learned about basic report design components and building blocks for simple reports. Chapter 6 showed you how to lay out a report using these report items and data regions. In this chapter, you will learn how to use these same essential components to assemble more complex and useful reports. You can follow along using the sample reports contained in the Chapter 8 project that is included with the book downloads at

The real power behind Reporting Services is its ability to creatively use data groups and combinations of report items. Calculations and conditional formatting may be added by using simple programming code. Whether you are an application developer or a report designer, this chapter contains important information to help you design reports to meet your users' requirements, and to raise the bar with compelling report features.

The following topics are covered in this chapter:

  • Advanced data grouping features

  • Headers and aggregation

  • Lists and data regions

  • Links and drill-through reports

  • Building advanced expressions

  • Using custom code to extend formatting and apply business logic

  • Advanced charting features

Previous chapters have used the Report Builder 2.0 Designer and Business Intelligence Development Studio, demonstrating the similarities and subtle differences between these two tools. At this point, you have graduated from the Report Wizard and Graphical Query Designer. This chapter focuses on report design techniques rather ...

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