Chapter 8

Chart Reports

What's in this chapter?

Chart types and design approaches

Anatomy of a chart

Chart objects and collection hierarchy

Creating a multiseries chart

Multiple chart areas

Useful properties and settings

A chart data region is based on a dataset just like any other data region. It uses groups, query parameters, and filters in much the same way as a table, list, or matrix. Of course, the difference is that a chart consumes the data and then visualizes the grouped aggregate values in the form of bars, columns, lines, points, bubbles, or slices.

Before we get into the details, let's cover the simple method of chart design. After you add a chart to the report, you see a simple chart design user interface. Using the Chart Data window, you select the type of chart you want and then add fields to define a category and a field for the series value. Then — badda boom, badda bing — you have a working chart. Easy, right? Designing simple charts is a fairly easy task, but adding features and customizing a chart can require a lot more effort.

After placing the chart in the report body, you can drag fields from the Dataset window directly onto the chart design surface. At the minimum, a chart should have one aggregated field for the value and one grouped field for the category. The category and series groups represent the x-axis and y-axis in bar, column, line, area, and point charts.

With each version of Reporting Services, the charting capabilities keep getting better and ...

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