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December 12, 2009

SSRS: Deploy same report to multiple SP sites

Last week I re-discovered a very handy function of the good old Visual Source Safe: Sharing files among multiple projects.

The case was that we wanted to be able to deploy the same report to multiple SharePoint sites, but just have one version in our Visual Studio projects to maintain.

Because you can only configure deployment settings per URL where you want to deploy the reports to, I created a project within my solution for each report library I wanted to deploy to.

Most sites get the same reports, sometimes a report should not be deployed to one site only and there are also reports only for a specific site. For the first category I didn't want to make just copies, because if there is a change in the report I have to manually copy this change to all other projects.

Since we just started using VSS again I remembered the option "Share to...". I did a little test, sharing reports from one VSS project to another, and this went perfect. The only thing I had to do after sharing is adding the shared files to the VS project I shared them to. Now I can deploy the whole solution, knowing for sure that a change in a shared report is automatically replicated to all sites that uses that report.

Maybe not rocket science or even a trick, but just a tip for when you're using the same tools and have the same requirement.

Posted by Ben de Ridder at 4:45 PM | Comments (4)

December 8, 2009

PPS 2007: Add link to detail report to KPI in scorecard

When you look at a Scorecard and maybe see something red, mostly you want to know which fact cause this color.

We already use conditional showing analytical grids and charts by clicking the KPI name (if you want to know how it works let me know). But for each KPI we also have a beautiful RS report.

Of course this report could be integrated in the dashboard, but because it's an extranet and so we don't have Kerberos, the redirection to the RS server that occurs stops us from doing that.

I found another way:
1. add a custom property to the KPI's of the type Hyperlink
2. enter the URL to the specific report
3. publish and you'll see the links which you can click to see the appropriate report

We can not (yet) add the params of the dashboard to apply to the report. If anyone knows a trick for that let me know.

Since we also have the same set of reports in different sites I also created 2 web parts. One for setting the base URL for the report sub site per department site and one for doing a redirect using a post param in the URL. If there is any interest about this, let me know, I will consider describing this too.

Posted by Ben de Ridder at 5:30 PM | Comments (0)

December 7, 2009

SSRS 2008: hidden parameter queries not right after editing dataset MDX query manually

One thing that really irritated me when working with SSRS reports is that if I created a custom MDX query after each change all hidden datasets for the parameters where overwritten.

For example is I had a DataSet called DataSet1 that used a certain parameter like region, this parameter was overwritten after changing the DataSet1 query but then without using the other parameters that sliced down the Region parameter.

I found out that this only happened when I was manually editing the MDX query for DataSet1 (mostly for adding member properties which is not supported by the query designer). So here is how I deal with it:

1. first I create the query with the designer, called for example DataSet1Design
2. before manually editing I create a 2nd dataset, called DataSet1Edit
3. I import the first dataset with the import function of the query designer selecting the same file I'm working on (don't forget to save it first)
4. I only edit the 2nd dataset manually with all modifications I need
5. After closing the designer all the hidden datasets for the parameters are overwritten wrongly
6. Just open the DataSet1Design query and press OK. All hidden datasets are recreated but now the way they should be

20091208 BdR: As David said in his comment; there is a better way to do this: http://blog.summitcloud.com/2009/12/suppress-auto-update-of-mdx-parameter-datasets-in-reporting-services-2008/

Thanks David. I will try this soon. Still my method can be usefull if you want the hidden queries to be regenerated if you alter your main MDX DataSet, but most of the time you just want the designer to leave your customizations alone.

Posted by Ben de Ridder at 2:30 PM | Comments (3)

SSRS 2008: repeating headers

Somehow my headers on my reports wouldn't repeat on each page. So I searched the internet, read dozens of posts about similar problems but none of them had the answer.

Most common stuff I found on Technet and I found several posts like using the advanced option in the Row Groups pane, select the first static group and set KeepWithGroup to After and RepeatOnNewPage true. This was not all for me but it certainly helped.

The problem was that I changed so many things in my tablix with the designer that the TablixRowHierarchy became a mess. There were to many nested TablixMember's. So in the rdl code (view code in solution explorer) I cleaned up this part by removing all unnecessary levels. And at the end the header repeated again.

Posted by Ben de Ridder at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

First post ever

I'm working with the Microsoft BI products almost all day and many nights. During the process I find out a lot of tricks. I also find a lot of tricks from others on forums and blogs. That's why I thought: let's also post my findings to the world. Who know who I can help this way, and furthermore, this way I have a place where I can find my own findings back ;-)

Posted by Ben de Ridder at 9:45 AM | Comments (0)