Chapter 16

Report Solutions, Patterns, and Recipes

What's in this chapter?

Designing super reports

Report specifications and requirements

Development phases

Report recipes

Dashboard solutions

Designing a KPI scorecard

Designing an interactive sparkline report

Maps with navigation

Using report parts

Dynamic colors

Tables with dynamic columns

Anyone who does a lot of advanced report design work can appreciate the fact that Reporting Services can be used to build highly customized reports to meet the demands of complex business requirements. Features and properties have been added in each product version to improve these capabilities. Some objects have dozens of properties, many of which are used only for very specific needs and to solve specific problems.

The concept of the report recipe was born from a series of conference presentations I've given at the PASS Global Summit over the past few years. The topic of advanced report design led to discussions about practical design patterns and different ways that one more capable report could be created to replace many simple reports. Through the use of some well-established design techniques, we've learned to create fewer, more complex and adaptable reports rather than one report for each user request or individual requirement.

Let's face it — a lot of reporting environments aren't meticulously planned. In most organizations, different people create reports to surface information from various data sources. Over time, the reports grow ...

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