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Category: Reporting Services

Conditional Visibility in Power BI Paginated Reports

Sabrina Jordan has a clever solution to a common customer request:

How many times have you struggled to find the happy medium between a report that looks phenomenal when printed, but has everything a user might need in an Excel export? I recently built a beautiful paginated report with groupings separated by white space for easy readability – but the user wanted to export the results to Excel, and the format prevented them from sorting or filtering the report contents. Power BI Report Builder has a couple features that can allow you the best of both worlds, with a few simple tricks. By the end of this tutorial, you will have created two Tablix, set up conditional visibility based on report render format, and set conditional sizing on the Excel Tablix (using hidden charts!) to prevent blank pages.

Click through for the solution.

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Naming Worksheets in Power BI Paginated Report Excel Outputs

Paul Turley answers a question:

This question comes up every few years in SQL Server Reporting Services. Of course, in Power BI Paginated Reports, we have the same features. A couple of days ago, Karthik posted this question as a comment to my post titled Chapter 7 – Advanced Report Design:

I am working on a SSRS report where the grouping is done to group the records in to multiple tabs/worksheets. When the report is exported to excel, the worksheets has the default name (Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3,…). Here I want to override the default worksheet name with (Tab1, Tab2, Tab3, …). The number of tabs/worksheets varies each time depending on the parameter selection by the user. How to address this? any suggestions please.

Click through for the answer.

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Refreshing Power BI Report Server Reports

Aaron Nelson has some new cmdlets for us:

I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that a new version of the ReportingServicesTools module went out last week, and it includes 3 new PowerShell functions for working with Power BI reports on a Power BI Report Server (PBIRS) instance.

You can now Create (New), Get, & Start a CacheRefreshPlan of a Power BI report deployed to a PBIRS instance.  For clarity, these only apply to reports using an Imported model, not those using Direct Query.

Click through for more detail.

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Displaying Always Encrypted Data in SSRS with a gMSA

Ryan Adams shows how we can view Always Encrypted data in SQL Server Reporting Services when SSRS uses a Group Managed Service Account:

Always Encrypted protects our data both at rest and in transit. To accomplish that, SQL only stores the encrypted data and cannot decrypt it; all the work is done by the client. In our case the client is SSRS and it is the account running the SSRS service that will need the certificate to decrypt data. Note that it is not the account running the report.

Click through for the solution.

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Deploy Reporting Services Projects with Powershell

Aaron Nelson has a pair of new Powershell cmdlets:

I built two new PowerShell commands to deploy SSRS projects, and they have finally been merged into the ReportingServicesTools module. The commands are Get-RsDeploymentConfig & Publish-RsProject. While the Write-RsFolderContent command did already exist, and is very useful, it does not support deploying the objects in your SSRS Project to multiple different folders in your report server. These two new commands can handle deployment to multiple folders.

Click through for details on each.

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Overriding SSRS Authentication

Eitan Blumin doesn’t like the SSRS authentication prompt:

In this post, I hope to summarize the various methods that we have, in order to get rid of that annoying authentication prompt. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of complexity of implementation, versatility, and the level of security that it provides. More specifically: the more secure and versatile a method is – the more complicated it is to implement.

Read on for four such techniques, as well as a bonus technique.

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Lookup Functions in SSRS

Slava Murygin has made a mistake:

There is a lot of blog posts in the Internet about how to use Lookup and other functions of this type in SSRS.
It is very straight forward and easy to use.
However, I’ve managed to make a mistake and I assume have the same problem if you got to that page.

Read on to see the error as well as the wrong way and the right way to solve the problem.

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SQL Server Assessment Reports

Dave Bland shares the results of a lot of effort:

When you click the SQL Server 2012 or newer you will be taken to a report that will return a great deal of information that will be useful when doing an assessment.  This is very similar to the report you will be taken to if you click the 2008r2 or older button.  Since many of these data points are not options in an Azure SQL DB, that button will take you to the Report Library.

Below are the 21 data points that will be returned in just a few seconds.  A number of these will be helpful when doing an assessment for performance reasons.  The boxes will also change color to yellow or red if issues are found, just like the image above.

Click through for samples as well as the download link.

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Licensing for SQL Server Reporting Services

Denny Cherry explains licensing scenarios for SQL Server Reporting Services:

When you license SQL Server (of which the SQL Server Reporting Services engine is a part of) you license what is called the OSE or Operating System Environment. This is basically the OS that has SQL Server installed on it. Now, this can be the virtualization host (VMware or Hyper-V) or it can be the Windows Server (SSRS isn’t available on Linux, so we don’t have to deal with that, but if SSRS was available on Linux the rules would be the same as Windows). You can install SQL Server (or SSRS) as many times inside that OSE as you want to, but you can’t install SQL Server (or SSRS) on any other machines.

SSRS licensing isn’t too difficult to understand, relatively speaking.

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Analysis versus Reporting and Power BI

Rob Collie thinks about industry movement between analysis and reporting. Part one gives us some backstory:

Excel was about to make a large investment in BI-related capabilities, and the powers that be had selected me to lead our part in it. I was excited, but now I needed a crash course in “what the hell is BI?” I was given multiple tutors, and they all were quick to introduce the concept of Analysis versus Reporting. The “versus” seemed to be pretty important. It wasn’t an “and” – no, the “versus” was chosen deliberately in these sermons. You see, these were Two Very Different Things.

I struggled mightily to grasp this difference. I was told that interactive things like PivotTables were Analysis tools – NOT Reporting tools! Reports were something completely different. “But,” I pointed out, “they’re called ‘Insert PivotTable Report’ on the Excel menu today!” (This was Excel 2003). “Yeah,” said the mentors, “…we might want to fix that.”

Part two explains why analysis and reporting are both important:

Another “meta characteristic” of paginated reports is that they TEND to display details rather than aggregations. EX: specific transactions rather than emergent trends. In paginated reports, you’re MORE likely (but not guaranteed!) to be looking at “raw” rows of data from the original database, whereas in a Power BI report, you’re more likely (but again, not guaranteed!) to NOT be seeing raw individual rows, but rather intelligent aggregations of MANY rows. But either way, more detail means you’re more likely to need multiple pages.

Rob’s right on the money. And I’m looking forward to part three of the series.

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