SSRS: Drill down

Let’s make the report at little more readable and interactive.

We are going to do a drill down on the names in our report. This mean when the report first opens, you will only see one row for each name. If you want to see the details of that person, you can click on a + by their name and the details for that person will pop down like an accordion.

Below your report design window, you should see another window called Row Groups

Go to the area marked Details (green arrow) and right click – Group Properties…

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Click Visibility > Hide > Display can be toggled.

(Note I am selecting Name1 not Name. If you remember Name was the column we hid. Name1 is the column created when we created the Parent Group)

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Now when you open your report, you will see it is in drill down format.

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SSRS: Sorting

Now let us look at some sorting options

Below your report design window, you should see another window called Row Groups

Go to the area marked Details (green arrow) and right click

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Select Group Properties

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Go to Sorting, select the column you want to sort by and choose ascending or descending

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SSRS: Grouping

In our last lesson we made the basic report seen below:

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**Note, you can follow the link below to the first lesson:

SSRS: Introdution: 1rst Report

Grouping

Our data is currently in table form, but is otherwise still nothing more than a raw data dump. Let’s make our report a little nicer with some grouping. Right click on the data row (not header) in your table. Mouse over to Add Group and select Parent Group…

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In the new window, select [Name] from the drop down.

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Click Add group header and Add group footer boxes. Now click OK

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Now a group has been added to your report.

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If you click on preview, you will now see the table is grouped by Names

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But you will notice we now have 2 columns showing the Name, one – our new grouping column and the other – the original column. This is redundant. To get rid of it, go back to Design, right click on the second name column and select Column Visibility…

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When the new window opens up, click Hide.

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Now when you look at the report now, you will see the second Name column is now hidden.

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Running Total:

Next, let’s set up a running total for Hours spent on each job. To do so, right click on the Hours text box and select Add Total

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Now when we go back to preview, we will see at total in the group footer for each person

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Average:

Now what if we wanted an average instead? Right click on the textbox that says [Sum(Hours)] and select Expression

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You can just type = Avg(Fields!Hours.Value) in the expression builder box, but if you don’t know the code, you can use information in the boxes below. As you can see in the example below, if you go to Common Functions > Aggregate you will see the code for lots of functions like Average, count, standard deviation.

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Now when you go to preview, you will see an average.

But now we have a new problem. If you are trying to average something like work hours, odds are you will not need to go out to 10 decimal places. So a number like 8.272727272727 is pretty much ridiculous for a report like this.

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Now go to Number > Number and set the Decimal Places to 2

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So if you look at it again, you will see you only have 2 decimal points now.

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SSRS: Introdution: 1rst Report

SSRS stands for Sql Server Reporting Service. This is Microsoft’s BI reporting tool integrated into their Sql Server platform. SSRS allows you to create, deploy, and manage reports from a server platform.

SSRS comes as part of the SQL Server suite. It is not available as part of Express, but if you buy the developers edition, you will get SSRS (as well as SSIS and SSAS). You may need to download and install it separately. You’ll find it under the title, SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT).

SSDT download link

In this tutorial, I will walk you through creating your first SSRS report. In this example, I created two SQL Server tables from the following Excel files:

JobDataSet

JobDesc

If you aren’t sure how to upload an Excel file to SQL Server, you can go to my tutorial on how to do it. The SQL Server upload tutorial was actually created to support the SSRS lessons.

SQL Server: Importing Excel File to SQL Server

To create a new SSRS project, open Visual Studios (the platform SSDT runs on) and go to File->New->Project

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Select Reporting Services -> Report Server Project

Name your project. I typically leave Create directory for solution checked.

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Your new “solution” will open up. I still haven’t really figured out why MS changes the name from Project when creating and opening it to Solution once you are working on it. I am sure someone, somewhere had a reason for it. That person is probably retired now and won’t return any email requests as to why he decided on the wording choice.  We’ll just have to chalk it up to another one of life’s mysteries. Like why is Regis Philbin famous?

But I digress…

Now our “solution” is open, we will see 3 sub folders. Shared Data Sources, Shared Datasets and Reports

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To create a new report, right click on Reports -> Add -> New Item.  Don’t click Add New Report unless you want to meet the world’s most unhelpful Wizard. I call him Gandalf the Drunk…

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After clicking add new item, click Report and name your report.

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Now your new report will open up.

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Data Source

So, before we can actually report on anything, we are going to need data. And in order to get data, we are going to need a Data Source. Now you will notice you have Shared Data Sources on the right and Data Sources on the left. Shared Data Sources, once established, can be used in all reports you create. If you create an “embedded” data source in the report, you will only be able to use it in that report.

For this example, we will make a shared data source.

Go to the right under Solution Explorer and right click Shared Data Sources. This time you can click Add New Data Source.

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This wizard is just Gandolf the Tipsy. While I harbor a general dislike for most wizards, this one isn’t completely useless at least.

First name your data set something you will remember later.

Select Type ->Microsoft SQL Server

Click Edit

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Copy and paste your server name in the 2nd box. In this example, my SQL Server is locally installed on my computer, so I just used localhost as my server name. Next select the Database you want to work with from the drop down. I created a database call SSRSTraining for this example

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Hit Test Connection, you should get a success message.

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Click Okay, you’ll new see your Data Source in the Solution Explorer

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Now go to the left and right click on Data Source for your report. Select Add New Data Source

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Name your data source and click on the Use shared data source reference radio button.

Pick you data source from the drop down. There should only be one to choose from

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Datasets:

Now click okay, go back to the left and right click on Dataset.

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Select New Data Set,

Name the Data Set

Select Use a dataset embedded in my report. This is generally how I do things, as Data Sources are usually reusable, Datasets are more designed for specific reports, so I leave them embedded.

Select your Data source from the drop down

For Query type we are using Text in this example

I am using a simple select all statement from the dbo.JobDataSet table I created

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If you click on fields in the upper right, you’ll now see the columns that will be feeding in from the query. You can rename the columns if you wish

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For now, let’s just click Okay, now you will see your data set expanded on the left side of your screen.

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Now to the far left, you should see the word Toolbox, click on that. This is a list of the tools we can work with within SSRS. Let’s start with a table

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Click on the table and drag it into the design window in the middle of the screen

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Now you can simply drag and drop columns from your dataset into your new table.

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By default, a table comes with 3 columns. You can add columns to this table by dragging a field over to the end of the table (note you will see a blue bar indicator letting you know your mouse is in the right spot. The column will populate to the right of the blue bar).

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This will add a new column to the end of your table. You can also use this method to insert a column in between existing table columns

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Now click on Preview button above your table

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When you do, you will get to see your table complete with data. Notice how the job column is too small for the job description.

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Step 5: Formatting

To fix the job column, let’s go back to our Design screen. Do this by clicking on the Design tab in the upper left.

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Now hover your mouse over the table until you get the double arrow icon seen below

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Once you have that, simply click and drag the column over to make it wider

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Since we are in the design window anyway, let us do a little more formatting. Click on the gray box to the left the header row to highlight the entire row. Now we can do things like Bold the font or change the background color

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Go back to the preview window to check out your results.

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There you have your very first SSRS Report from top to bottom.