Don’t want to buy VS.NET to author reports? Try Cizer Report Builder

Many of you probably know that one of the Microsoft RS partners, Cizer, offers an ad-hoc reporting tool called Cizer Query (mentioned in my book).

Now, Cizer has released a report designer tool – Cizer Report Builder, as an alternative for authoring reports if you don’t have or want to purchase VS.NET. According to the vendor:

Cizer Report Builder (CRB) 2004 v1.00 is now available.  Bringing full-featured production report design into the browser, CRB makes the rapid deployment of reporting with Microsoft Reporting Services a reality.  Cizer .NET Reporting now provides both ad hoc and production report design in a single web interface with zero client installation or download required.   Charts, graphs, parameters, images, calculations and formatting are now easy to develop and manage.  Other highlights include:

  • Guided Report Development Wizards

  • Links to Cizer Quick Query

  • Access to Multiple Data Sources

  • Drag and Drop Placement of Report Objects

  • Local and Global Libraries for Report Templates, Queries and Parameter Panels

  • Private and Public Report Sharing

  • Saves as RDL Format Which Easily  Exports to Multiple Formats Including Excel and PDF

  • Deploys to Microsoft Reporting Services to Support Enterprise-Wide Distribution

Cizer Report Builder is available for purchase on the Cizer website ( “

Please let me know if you like Cizer Report Builder. Do you think that it provides a viable alternative to the RS Report Designer?

School is here…and so is my book

My book “Reporting Services in Action” is finally available in print format. For time being, it can be purchased only from the publisher’s website ( It will probably take a couple of weeks before the book reaches other outlets such as


Many thanks to those of you that will purchase my book. I sincerely hope you will find it as much fun to read as it was to write. I am always interested to know my product meet your needs. Please drop me a line to let me know what you liked or disliked about my book.


Happy reporting with Microsoft Reporting Services in Action!

New RS features in SQL Server 2005 Beta 2

For those of you who would like to know what new RS features have made it to SQL Server 2005 Beta 2, here is the list:

  • Ability to load report projects in the new SQL Server 2005 Intelligence Development Studio IDE. The consequence of this is important. You don’t have to purchase VS.NET anymore just to get the Report Designer because the Intelligence Studio IDE comes bundled with the Report Designer.
  • Integration with the SQL Server Management Studio. The third toolbar button on the Registered Servers toolbox brings to the RS configuration. Now you have a single console to connect and manage the RS configuration properties, security, jobs and shared schedules.
  • The Analysis Services MDX and DMX Query Designers that allow you to craft MDX and data mining queries in a graphical way. Those of you targeting Microsoft Analysis Services will probably appreciate these two designers. Both designers operate in design and query modes similar to the Graphical and Generic Query Designers included in version 1.0. When used in Graphical mode, the designers allow you to drag and drop dimensions and measures to the query pane to make the tedious task of authoring MDX queries much easier. In addition, Analysis Services 2005 supports parameterized MDX queries and you can declare any dimension member as parameterized. If you have time to play with SQL Server Beta 2, check the new query designers. They really rock!

The rest of the RS new features will be included in SQL Server Beta 3 scheduled to be released around Q2 2005.


I highly recommend you start evaluating SQL Server 2005 as soon as you can. There are so many new and cool features that it may take you months to go over them. On the downside, you need a beefed up testing machine. Based on my experience, the Beta 2 performance is far from being optimized. Loading the Books Online, Management and Intelligence Studio pretty much take up all of the 700 MB of RAM allocated to my Virtual PC. Ouch!


If you need community support, check out the SQL Server 2005 newsgroups at .

Happy yukoning!

TechEd Europe 2004

Well, I have to admit that I will miss the echo of the drums and buzz surrounding TechEd Europe 2004. There are many new and exciting things coming for developers next year which means a lot of reading too J


My favorite session (besides DAT354 which I presented of course) was Scott Guthrie’s one about the next generation of ASP.NET 2.0. I enjoyed also the Tim Sneath’s session. SQL Server 2005 integration with .NET is cool although I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed that it supports only external .NET assemblies that have to pre-registered in similar way that RS integrates with .NET assemblies. Why can I write the whole darn thing in managed code? Hopefully the next SQL Server incarnation will finally kiss T-SQL good bye … Another sad thing was that .NET 2.0 Enterprise Services still require COM+ interop. COM dies hard…


The buzz surrounding Reporting Services was impressing too. The RS sessions were the ones most attended and looks like many of you are planning to give Reporting Services a spin and/or bring it to the max. Stay tuned; many good things are happening in the RS 2005 including the next generation of WinForm and ASP.NET controls…


I enclose download links to my presentation and source code for those of you who missed the event. 

  • DAT354 Presentation “Building SQL Server Reporting Service Applications”
  • Source code
  • Source code script