The book’s link is here, SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Blueprints.
This book is a step-by-step, task-driven tutorial that goes straight to the practical development of reporting skills, explaining actions as they are taken. If you perform the role of report development using SSRS in your job and you already have a basic knowledge of how data source and datasets in SSRS work, this book will advance your reporting skill to the next level.
In order to accomplish all the steps discussed in this book, including the steps on how to integrate SharePoint 2010/2013, PowerPivot, and Power View with SSRS, it is recommended that you use SQL Server 2012 Enterprise or Business Intelligence Edition. You can still use the Standard Edition to accomplish most of the steps in the book but it doesn’t support the advanced BI features, such as PowerPivot and Power View.
To create SSRS 2012 reports, you have two options:
- You can use the SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). SSDT is Visual Studio shell which is an integrated environment used to build SQL Server database objects. You can install SSDT
from the SQL Server installation media.
- You can also use Visual Studio 2012. If you use Visual Studio, you must install the SSDTBI templates. SSDTBI (SQL Server Data Tools-Business Intelligence) is a component that contains templates for SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) for Visual Studio 2012.
To try the examples in this book, you will need to have 2012 AdventureWorks Sample database.
In Chapter one you will learn right away different tricks on how to implement parameters for
different scenarios, ability to exclude one or more parameters at runtime, drop-down parameter, multivalued parameter, cascading parameter and cascading multivalued parameter.
I really appreciate Chapter 2 in which a section is devoted to create custom report template. Report templates not only save time but also creates visual consistency that suit your organization branding. Number crunching is really all about data summaries, aggregates, and groupings. Through practical examples in Chapter 2, you will be able to pick up the skills very quickly.
Another essential skills in creating SSRS reports is to be able to add interactive elements, such as Actions, Tool tips, Document Map, Sorting and Bookmark to a report. In SSRS, one report can also interact with another report through Subreport, Drillthrough report or linked report. You will absolutely love Chapter 3 which focuses on adding actions to SSRS reports.
Have you ever wondered if SSRS is also a good tool for data visualization? In SSRS 2012, in the report designer toolbox, you will find a few report items that are new, they are, Data Bar, Sparkline, Indicator and Map. Chart and Gauge exist in the prior versions.
Chapter 4 will show you how to create reports in SSRS 2012 with data bars, sparklines, gauges, and indicators. Next time if you need to meet the common data visualization requirements, you will find that this book can make your data visualization work seem effortless.
I particularly like Chapter 5 which goes right into map visualization. It not only shows how to use the built-in maps for the United States, but also how to import and use commercial shapefiles (map files) to create world map report.
If you are tasked to develop reports based on the cubes in the OLAP, Chapter 6 will show you how to survive simple implementation just with the query designer in SSRS.
The last chapter in this book goes beyond just report development. It will show you how to get your SSRS reports ready for production. You will find practical information on deployment configurations, user security, shared schedules, cached reports, and snapshots. It also dives into report subscriptions with e-mail delivery / scheduled delivery and data-driven subscription.
Overall, this SSRS 2012 blueprints book is a well written book and worth buying if you just start out developing SSRS reports in 2012. If you started with the prior versions and already are an experienced report developer, then this book might not be right for you. However, if you are like me and new to the data/spatial visualization features in SSRS 2012, you will find very useful information in this book on how to use the data bars, sparklines, gauges, and indicators and map objects.
Congratulations to Marlon Ribunal and Mickey Stuewe on their first SSRS book. And to reviewers Basit A. Masood-Al-Farooq, Varinder Sandhu, SIVAKUMAR VELLINGIRI and Valentino Vranken. Their combined experience in SQL Server Reporting Services report development makes this book a valuable addition to every SSRS developer’s library.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.
In this blog, I’d like to give special thanks to the people below who have taken time to write reviews for my book MDX with SSAS 2012 Cookbook.
“It helped me a lot in my projects and helped me advanced my MDX skill in a very short time.”
“What I like about the cookbook style is the scenario and solution design. ”
“The structure of the books is very similar and is again very easy to follow.”
"This book is a must have. I have struggled trying to find a book with good illustrations and easy to follow samples UNTIL this book!"
“I recommend this book to anyone regardless of MDX exposure, really great to have a reference like this book when you are trying to work through tough requirements."
"MDX with SSAS 2012 Cookbook" has a good chapter and topic organization which starts simply, but not too simply, and builds in complexity. "Elementary MDX" sets the stage for the expected level of knowledge with the other chapters building from that knowledge base. I particularly liked the chapters on "Working with Time", and "Business Analytics" because the regression and non-allocated expenses are tough problems for MDX newbies to solve."
In the blog below, I’ve given my thanks to Vincent Rainardi for his quick reviewing.
My publisher recently forwarded me a question from a reader about the “Using the PROPERTIES() function to retrieve data from attribute relationships” section in Chapter 1 of the book “MDX with SSAS 2012 Cookbook”.
“The following code seems to always return true for [Is Numeric], no matter I use the 2nd parameter ‘typed’ or not.
Can you please explain why?”
In the reader’s query, the second parameter TYPED was commented out. Indeed, the [Is Numeric] is returning 1 (true).
I went back and read the section in the book, and I can see why the IsNumeric function used in the query is causing a bit of confusion.
IsNumeric Function Does not Return Data Type
IsNumeric function is one of the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) library functions that extend the functionality of MDX statements. It returns a Boolean value indicating whether an expression can be evaluated as a numeric value. It does not tell if the property is a numeric data type or a string data type.
This explains why in the proceeding query, the calculated measure [Is Numeric] always returns 1. The value of Total Children can be evaluated as a numeric value.
In this sense, the IsNumeric function behaves consistently with the IsNumeric function in Transact-SQL.
You can try these two simple Transact-SQL queries in SSMS. The second SELECT will always return 1 (true) even when the parameter is a string data type.
Parameter TYPED is useful in sorting, filtering and calculations
If the property value can be evaluated as a number, and you intend to manipulate the property value arithmetically, then adding the TYPED parameter is the safest way to guarantee the accuracy of the sorting, filtering and calculation results.
Let’s use the FILTER function in the following three queries and compare the results.
- 1. No TYPED parameter, and FILTER by [Total Children] = 3
- 2. No TYPED parameter, and FILTER by [Total Children] = ‘3’
- 3. With TYPED parameter, and FILTER by [Total Children] = 3
The first query should produce wrong results (no result set) because [Total Children] is a string value and [Total Children] = 3 cannot be found.
The second and the third queries should procedure correct results because the FILTER function used the correct data type in the search.
Query 1: No TYPED parameter, and FILTER by [Total Children] = 3
Incorrect results: no result set
Query 2: No TYPED parameter, and FILTER by [Total Children] = ‘3’
Now try another query with TYPED parameter, and FILTER by [Total Children] = 3. You should see the same results as from the second query.
Properties() function with TYPED flag returns the data type of the property that was defined in the data source
So what exactly is the data type returned when the TYPED parameter is provided? It is the data type that is defined in the data source.
If you open the Data Source View in Adventure Works DW and expand the DimCustomer table, you will see that TotalChildren is defined as System.Byte.
In the relational data warehouse, this filed is defined as tinyint. Another data type you might be interested in is the data type of the Dimension Attribute Total Children. UnsignedTinyInt is an 8-bit unsigned integer with values that range from 0 to 255.
A bit more info
Another reason that you should include the TYPED parameter for the Properties function is for your PivotTable users. Very often, PivotTable users need to manipulate numeric values arithmetically. Data type conversion in PivotTable can create a lot of frustration for users.
Past blogs that explored the Properties function: