Top 10 sql server reporting services tips
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SSRS Reporting Tips and Tricks

SSRS Reporting Tips and Tricks

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Top 10 sql server reporting services tips Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Top 10 SQL Server ReportingServices TipsBy Ike EllisThe Monastery@ike_elliswww.the-monastery.comBlog.the-monastery.comhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/ikeellis
  • 2. Tip #1: Store Colors in the Database• Colors = Business Logic• Put it in the database• Use Expressions to read the colors• Include action colors and levels• Demo
  • 3. Tip #2: Get Buy-in to Export to SingleFormat• Build to export to a single format– Excel– Word– Web– PDF• Then get buy-in and make it a standard in theorganization• Demo: Build to export to excel
  • 4. Tip #3: Alias, Obscure, and De-couple• Use DNS CName Aliases for ConnectionStrings– If you can’t use that, then use the HOSTS file onthe report server and on your dev machine– Or alias the client on the server and your devmachine• Use Views instead of tables and don’t hit theviews directly in datasets
  • 5. Tip #4: Log, Log, Log (and beware ofsubscriptions)select c.Name, e.InstanceName, e.UserName, e.Parameters, e.TimeStart, e.TimeEnd, e.TimeDataRetrieval, e.TimeProcessing, e.TimeRenderingfrom executionlog ejoin catalog con e.reportid = c.ItemIDSend a Link, or a file on a shared folder that you can audit. Find someway to auditwho opened the link or the file in the folder. Try to avoid sending the PDF withouta way to audit it.
  • 6. Tip #5: Create a Template• Create an ssrs template• Add execution date• Add execution parameters on report surface• Add who executed it• Create small fonts• Add business owner to the bottom• Add Default Database Connections/VariablesHelps with troubleshooting, logging,report modification, and numbermatching
  • 7. Tip #6: Used Linked Reports to ManageSecurity• Allows you to use Role assignments and• Not have duplicate reports in folders• Not have users in folders they shouldn’t be in• Not manage security on individual reports• Demo
  • 8. Tip #7: Keep Report Quantity Small• Too many reports means that there are morethings to keep consistent• Reports that aren’t used, tend to getforgotten, and then used with bad data
  • 9. Tip #8: Spend 10 Minutes on Design• Spend 10 minutes on design (as opposed to thezero we typically spend)• Choose colors wisely• 99/100 - developers use the default colorpalette• HTML color picker websites– http://www.lavishbootstrap.com• MorgueFile– http://www.morguefile.com/
  • 10. Tip #9: Use Multi-Value Parameter inT-SQL• Demo
  • 11. Tip #10: The Monastery ReportProcess• Maintain Balance– Form, Fit & Function• Know Your Audience– Give your user the right pictures, numbers & words for theirneeds– Use appropriate visual metaphors• Communicate Effectively which means Simplify• Use the Right Report Type– Use standard report styles– Keep them interesting• Make Data Actionable– Enable users to act on the information they receive
  • 12. Tip #11: T-SQL Tips• Use CONCAT instead of "+"• Use Try_cast instead of cast• Use Try_convert instead of convert• Use CTEs to link non-linkable data (like 10 tenemployees with top 10 customers)• Demo
  • 13. Tip #12: Dashboard Design Tips• "The most important information needs to beconsumable in 5 seconds" - Paul• Know your audience - Your users thinkdifferently than you do. Some are visual,some textual, some more mathematical• Satisfy everyone in a good report dashboard
  • 14. Good Dashboard Example
  • 15. Tip #13: Report Design Tips• Flat, non-bold colors• Avoid 3-D effects• Avoid default, out-of-the box styles• Match corporate color palates• Remember…this is what executives care about. This is how we makemoney• You dont need to label days of the week or months• You dont need the full year• You dont need a wide variety of colors…just shades of one color• You dont need borders or anything else that distracts the eye• Use darker colors when theres a warning• no fluff• thin fonts (Arial, segoe ui)• dim column headers• dim labels• one accent color• visualize rules• simple icons• Demo
  • 16. Tip #14: Choose the Right Chart• Pie charts dont really give you an action– They let you understand the contribution to a whole, but afterwards,theres really nothing left to understand– START THEM AT THE TOP, NOT THE RIGHT, SO IT LOOKS LIKE ACLOCK• time = spark line = shows changes over time without a comparisonto other categories• categories = bars• sequence = lines• Spark lines instead of series– collapse a bunch of yearly data into a sparkline…and then let them seeit when you expand• correlation = scatter chart• Look at bullet graphs
  • 17. Tip #15: Format in the database• Store formats in the database and usecommon formats• Or add them as hidden parameters in thereport template
  • 18. Ike Ellis• The Monastery• http://blog.the-monastery.com• http://www.the-monastery.com• YouTube• SQL Pass Book Readers• San Diego Tech Immersion Group• @ike_ellis• 619.922.9801• Email address is just my first name @the-monastery.com.