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SSRS Tutorial: SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

What Is Data Visualization With SSRS

Data visualization is the process of representing data, information, and insights in a graphical or pictorial format. The goal of data visualization is to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context. This makes it easier to identify patterns, trends, and insights that might not be immediately apparent from raw data. Data visualization is used in various fields such as business, science, and journalism, and it can be used to communicate information in a clear, concise, and effective manner. Common forms of data visualization include bar graphs, line charts, scatter plots, and heat maps.


SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a reporting platform provided by Microsoft that allows you to create, manage, and deliver reports. Here are some of the visual report parts you can add to an SSRS report:


Tables:

A table is used to display data in a structured format, where each row represents a record and each column represents a field.


Matrices:

A matrix is similar to a table, but it allows you to display data in a more flexible way by organizing it into rows and columns.


Charts:

A chart is used to display data in a graphical format, making it easier to identify trends and patterns. SSRS supports several types of charts, including bar charts, line charts, pie charts, and scatter charts.


Maps:

A map is used to display data on a geographical basis. You can use maps to visualize data such as sales by region or customer locations.


Gauges:

A gauge is used to display data in a visual format, such as a thermometer or speedometer. You can use gauges to represent data such as sales targets or service levels. Below are some examples from the Microsoft Learn website.


Sparklines:

Sparklines are small, simple charts that are used to display data in a compact format.


Indicators:

Indicators are graphical elements that are used to represent data, such as a traffic light or stop sign. You can use indicators to represent data such as pass/fail results or performance levels.


These are just some of the visual report parts you can add to an SSRS report. By combining these parts, you can create powerful and visually appealing reports that communicate data and insights in a meaningful way.


Using SQL Reporting Services For Data Visualisation

SQL Reporting Services (SSRS) is a server-based report generation software system from Microsoft. It is used to produce formatted reports with data from SQL Server databases. Reports can be generated in various file formats including Excel, XML and PDF. SSRS can be used to design and develop reports that can be published directly to a web application or embedded into an application. It also provides features such as caching, subscriptions, scheduling and security that make it easy to manage and distribute reports.


What Is SQL Server Data Tools And Report Builder

SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) and Report Builder in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) are both development environments for creating reports, but they serve different purposes and have different target audiences.


SSDT is a more comprehensive development environment for building and deploying data-tier applications, including SQL Server databases and report server project reports. It provides a rich set of tools for designing, developing, and deploying databases, including a visual designer for creating tables, relationships, and data sources. It also provides a robust environment for creating and deploying reports, including a report designer, report builder, and a visual studio-based development environment.


Report Builder, on the other hand, is a more focused report-authoring tool, designed for business users and report authors who need to create ad-hoc reports. Report Builder provides a more intuitive and user-friendly interface for creating reports, and it is designed to be easy to use for users who do not have extensive experience with SQL Server or data analysis.


In summary, SSDT is a more comprehensive development environment for both database and report development, while Report Builder is a simpler and more user-friendly report authoring tool, designed for non-technical users. -- In this demo, we will focus on using the using report builder then publish this to SQL Server Reporting Services SSRS.


Create SSRS Reports - Project Development Tutorial

To create this report test project, you will need an install SQL Server 2019 and Bennyhoff Products and Serves Sample Data (both are free, please see the links below for help. We will be using SSDT or Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) instead we will focus on report builder. In addition we will be using the report builder graphical interface vs any code in RDL? report definition language.






In Report Builder, you can connect to data by using a data source. A data source is a connection to a database that defines the data that you want to use in your report. To connect to a data source in Report Builder, follow these steps:


Open Report Builder: You can launch Report Builder from the Reporting Services web portal or from the start menu in Windows.

Create a New Report: To create a new report, click on the "New Report" button in the Home tab of the ribbon.


Define the Data Source: To connect to a data source, you need to create a new data source or use an existing data source. To create a new data source, click on the "Data Source" button in the Home tab of the ribbon and select "New Data Source".


Connect to the Database: To connect to the database, you need to provide the necessary connection information. This typically includes the server name, database name, user name, and password. You can choose either Windows authentication or SQL Server authentication to connect to the database.


Test the Connection: After providing the connection information, click on the "Test Connection" button to verify that Report Builder can successfully connect to the database.

Save the Data Source: If the connection is successful, save the data source by clicking on the "Save" button in the Home tab of the ribbon.


You should end up with a new data source called "DataSource1"

Once you have created a data source, you can use it to connect to the data in your report. You can use the Report Builder's Report Designer to create tables, matrices, charts, and other report items that retrieve and display data from the data source.


Defining Data Source And Dataset

A dataset in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a collection of data from one or more data sources that is used to populate a report. You can create a dataset in Report Builder by following these steps:


Create a New Dataset: To create a new dataset, click on the "Dataset" button in the Home tab of the ribbon and select "New Dataset".


Select the Data Source: In the "Dataset Properties" dialog box, select the data source that you want to use for your dataset.


Write the Query: To retrieve data from the data source, you need to write a query. You can write a query using Transact-SQL or another query language that is supported by the data source. In the "Dataset Properties" dialog box, enter the query in the "Query" text box.



For this report we are going to create a view in SQL Server then query the view. Here is the T-SQL for the view.


If you downloaded the sample data the view has already been created. - Called View1 - This is what the view looks like inside SQL Server.

Test the Query: To verify that the query is valid, click on the "Validate" button in the "Dataset Properties" dialog box.


Save the Dataset: If the query is valid, save the dataset by clicking on the "OK" button in the "Dataset Properties" dialog box.


Be sure to click "Text" and type Select * From View_1 for the query.


Report Data Pane and Report Layout

This is what the install screen will look like before we add any data. We can manually add columns to the report or we can use the Wizards help place data on the canvas before we hit "Run" and preview report.


Creating Tables

To create a table in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Report Builder, you can follow these steps:


Open Report Builder: To open Report Builder, go to the Start menu and find the "Report Builder" option. Click on it to open the application.


Create a new report: Once you have opened Report Builder, click on the "File" menu and select "New" to create a new report.


Add a data source: To add a data source to your report, click on the "Home" tab, and then select "Data sources" from the left-hand panel. In the data source dialog box, provide the necessary information to connect to your data, such as the server name, database name, and authentication information.


Create a dataset: Once you have added a data source, you can create a dataset by clicking on the "Home" tab, and then selecting "Datasets" from the left-hand panel. In the dataset dialog box, select the data source you created earlier, and then specify the query you want to use to retrieve data from your data source.


Insert a table: To insert a table into your report, click on the "Insert" tab, and then select "Table." You will be prompted to choose the data source and dataset you want to use to populate the table.


Add columns to the table: To add columns to the table, select the table in the report design surface, and then right-click on it. From the context menu, select "Insert Column." You can add as many columns as you need, and you can format each column to display the data in the way you want.


Preview the report: To preview the report, click on the "View" menu, and then select "Preview." This will show you how the table will look when the report is run.


Once you have completed these steps, you will have created a table in your report. You can further customize and format the table as needed, and add additional tables, charts, and other elements to your report as needed.


Using The Table Wizard To Create SSRS Reports



SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Offers Several Types Of Charts That You Can Use To Visualize Your Data. Some Of The Most Commonly Used Charts In SSRS Include:


Column chart:

A column chart is used to represent data in a vertical bar format. It is useful for comparing data between categories.

Bar chart: A bar chart is similar to a column chart, but the bars are horizontal instead of vertical. This type of chart is useful for comparing data between categories.

Line chart:

A line chart is used to show trends over time or across categories. The data points are connected with a line to help visualize the changes in the data.


Pie chart:

A pie chart is used to represent data as a proportion of the whole. Each category is represented as a slice of the pie, with the size of the slice representing the size of the category.


Shown below is the chart preview wizard.

Area chart:

An area chart is similar to a line chart, but the space between the line and the x-axis is filled with color. This type of chart is useful for showing trends over time or across categories.


Scatter chart:

A scatter chart is used to display the relationship between two sets of numerical data. The data points are represented as individual markers on the chart.


Stacked column chart:

A stacked column chart is used to represent data as a proportion of the whole, but with multiple categories. Each category is represented as a separate column, with the height of the column representing the size of the category.


Stacked bar chart:

A stacked bar chart is similar to a stacked column chart, but the bars are horizontal instead of vertical.


Funnel chart:

A funnel chart is used to represent the stages in a process, with the size of each stage representing the size of that category.

These are some of the most commonly used charts in SSRS, but there are many other chart types available, including combination charts, 3D charts, and more.


Deploy Reports To The Web Service URL

To deploy a report created in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Report Builder to a report server, you can follow these steps:


Open Report Builder: To open Report Builder, go to the Start menu and find the "Report Builder" option. Click on it to open the application.

Open the report: In Report Builder, open the report you want to deploy by selecting "File" from the menu bar, and then selecting "Open." Choose the report you want to deploy from the list of available reports.


Save the report to the report server: To save the report to the report server, select "File" from the menu bar, and then select "Save As." In the "Save As" dialog box, select "Report Server" as the location, and then enter the URL of the report server in the "Server Name" field.

Provide the report server credentials: If prompted, enter your report server credentials, such as your username and password, to access the report server.


Choose the target folder: In the "Save As" dialog box, select the folder on the report server where you want to save the report. If the folder does not exist, you can create a new folder by clicking on the "New Folder" button.


Publish the report: To publish the report, click on the "Publish" button. This will upload the report to the report server and make it available for use.


Once you have completed these steps, the report will be deployed to the report server and will be accessible to users with appropriate permissions. You can then use the Report Manager website or other tools to manage the report, including setting permissions, scheduling report runs, and creating report subscriptions



Managing Reports

The Report Manager website in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is the primary tool for managing reports, folders, data sources, and other components in a reporting environment. You can use the Report Manager website to perform the following tasks:

Organize Reports:

You can create folders to organize reports and other components within the Report Manager. You can also move reports and other components between folders as needed.


Manage Permissions:

You can set permissions on folders and reports to control who can access and interact with them. You can grant or deny access to individual users and groups, and you can specify the level of access, such as view or edit.


Manage Data Sources:

You can create, modify, and delete data sources in the Report Manager. You can also specify the connection information, such as the server name, database name, and authentication information, for each data source.


Manage Report Properties:

You can view and modify the properties of reports in the Report Manager, such as the name, description, and data source. You can also set properties that control the behavior of the report, such as the report execution timeout and caching options.


Manage Report Subscriptions:

You can create and manage report subscriptions in the Report Manager. A report subscription is a way to schedule a report to run at specific intervals and deliver the results to specific users or groups.


Manage Report History:

You can view the history of a report in the Report Manager, including information about when the report was run, by whom, and with what parameters.


Manage Report Snapshots:

You can create and manage report snapshots in the Report Manager. A report snapshot is a saved version of a report that is stored on the report server. You can use report snapshots to quickly view the data in a report without having to run the report.


By using the Report Manager website, you can effectively manage and organize your reporting environment, and ensure that your reports are accessible and secure.


Scheduling Reports

The Report Manager website in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) allows you to schedule reports to run automatically at specified intervals and to deliver the results to specific users or groups. To schedule a report using the Report Manager website, follow these steps:


Open the Report Manager website in your web browser.


Navigate to the folder that contains the report you want to schedule.


Click on the report to open its properties.


Click on the "Subscriptions" tab.


Click on the "New Subscription" button to create a new subscription.


In the "Delivery options" section, select the delivery method, such as email or file share, and enter the necessary information, such as the email addresses of the recipients.


In the "Report parameters" section, select the parameter values you want to use for the report.


In the "Schedule options" section, select the frequency and start date for the report.

Click on the "OK" button to save the subscription.


The report will now run automatically according to the schedule you specified, and the results will be delivered to the recipients you specified. You can view and manage your subscriptions by clicking on the "Subscriptions" tab in the report properties. You can also edit or delete subscriptions as needed, and create new subscriptions for other reports.

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