Custom Report Items (When You Are Too Sexy For Standard Report Items)

One of the most exciting (but not well known and documented) extensibility areas of SSRS 2005 is custom report items (CRI). As its name suggests, custom report items allow you to implement your own reporting controls when the standard SSRS report items (textbox, chart, table, matrix, etc.) are not enough. For example, the attached screenshot shows a report that uses a CRI I wrote to show a KPI value graphically.

If you have experience in developing Windows Forms .NET controls, you will feel immediately at home with CRI. In fact, I dare say that you can take the GDI+ source code of any Windows Forms.NET control and convert it easily to an SSRS CRI. As you can imagine, it won’t be long before third-party vendors come up with all sorts of cool SSRS widgets.

If you want to learn more about CRI, check out the PolygonsCRI sample which Chris Hays wrote. It is included with the latest refresh of the SQL Server 2005 samples. I have an article in the works for MSDN Magazine that explains the implementation details of a progress tracker CRI.. I will post an update here when the article is available (most likely July-August issue of MSDN Magazine).

SQL Server 2005 SP1 Released

SQL Server 2005 SP1 was released yesterday. Kudos to Microsoft for releasing SP1 on time!

As the conventional wisdom goes, one should postpone deployment of production applications until the first service pack has been released. Well, that time has come to pass. May your SQL Server 2005-based solutions be successful!

SQL Server 2005 SP1 Due in a Couple Weeks

Microsoft is planning to ship the SP1 version of SQL Server 2005 by the end of the month, according to an April 6 letter that Microsoft senior vice president Paul Flessner, wrote to customers.

In the same letter, Paul Flessner announces a new SQL Server Edition, the SQL Server Evywhere Edition, that will be used for occasionally connected applications.