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Category: Reporting Services

SSRS Report Automation

Jeffrey Verheul has a post showing how to automate Reporting Services report generation in .NET:

But SSRS can also have text-fields as input for your report. These can also be added to the URL. Just like the parameters above, you just add the parameter name and value to the URL: “http:// [servername] :80/ReportServer/Pages/ReportViewer.aspx?%2fTest%2fTestReport&From=2015-12-01&To=2015-12-08&FreeText=This is a test…&rs:Command=Render”.

After some testing I’ve found out that you can use any character in the text parameter you want to, except for the &-sign. If you use that, SSRS will think it’s a parameter or command and won’t accept the URL. And there’s also the (browser) limitation of the URL length. Testing proves that the limit is 7926-7931 characters. If your URL is below 7926 characters, it works like a charm. If you go above that (between 7926 and 7931) the behavior of SSRS gets buggy, and above 7931 characters SSRS will throw an exception.

The trick here is that SSRS has a nice web service, so once you’re familiar with it, generating reports is easy.

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Paginated Reports

James Anderson shows off paginated report improvements in SSRS 2016:

Anyone who has used SSRS in the past has probably been slightly frustrated with the lack of control for parameter positioning. It was possible to have some control by manipulating the ordering of the parameters, but for 2016 we have a new interface to define the positioning. It’s basically a grid onto which parameters, along with their labels, can be placed.

The big one for me:  HTML 5 support.  I remember spending so many hours trying to figure out why reports wouldn’t display in Firefox correctly or why they sometimes wouldn’t work at all (because the report builder executable wasn’t installed correctly or that one time there was a bug in the executable)…and that was before mobile took off as a serious platform.

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Installing SSRS 2016

James Anderson has a quick runthrough of installing SSRS 2016:

This first post of 3 takes a quick peek at SSRS 2016 using the Community Technical Preview (CTP) 3.2. I will be making a quick post installation tweak and then guiding you through the steps to build your first report. If you are experienced with SSRS you can probably just scan this post to see the differences in 2016. See the past post Installing SQL Server 2016 for details on the install I did prior to working on this post.

Installation and configuration don’t look radically different from the last couple versions, but it’s good to get a refresher on the topic.

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Installing SSRS On An Existing Clutered Instance

Corey Beck shows how to install SQL Server Reporting Services on an instance which sits on a Windows Failover Cluster:

You will also notice this is the end of your road for this installation without getting a success on this rule since the ‘Next’ button is grayed out.

Sure, you could go back and just create a new instance in the process to install SSRS on this node, but there has to be another way, right?  If only we could skip this rule in the installation….

We can using command prompt!

Knowing how to install SQL Server from the command line (or Powershell) is important; this is just one reason why.

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SSRS Niceties

Koen Verbeeck talks about the Reporting Services overhaul:

And these are all awesome changes. But sometimes it’s the little things that make me smile.
For example, I was toying with SSRS 2016 CTP3.0 and I wanted to insert a new chart. Suddenly I noticed they had updated the little chart icons in the dialog:

Here’s hoping the final product ends up being what we all wanted back in 2008; if so, that’d be pretty awesome.

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The Future Of Datazen

Meagan Longoria is thinking about the future of Datazen now that Microsoft has acquired them:

Click through for a hypnotizing animated GIF.  Seriously, I needed to close the window after a couple of minutes because I kept watching it over and over and over.

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SSRS All Grown Up

Paul Turley takes a look at how SSRS and Power BI are maturing.  One of the key grafs for me:

In SQL Server 2016, Reporting Services is getting a significant face lift on several fronts.  The HTML renderer has been completely rewritten to emit pure HTML 5 to produce consistent output in every modern browser on every device.  This capability is in the current CTP today.

I hated having people install executables to view SSRS reports, hated how Firefox and Chrome displayed reports differently than IE, and hated the occasional insoluable error brought about by these two things.  SSRS was due for a modernization, and I hope to look at it again in 2016.  Between these two tools, R support, and PolyBase, SQL Server 2016 is really shaping up to be a huge release for BI teams.

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