• Supercharge your reports with custom code

    September 9, 2004 / 1 Comment » / 954 Views

    Microsoft has just published my article “Microsoft Reporting Services in Action: Extending Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services with Custom Code“ on MSDN. Excerpted from my book Microsoft Reporting Services in Action, this article demonsrates how to implement advanced features in reports by integrating them with .NET assemblies.

  • Let’s talk RS

    September 7, 2004 / 2 Comments » / 874 Views

    Please join me at the following events to learn more about Reporting Services:   Atlanta.net User Group presentation (ADNUG) on September 27th I will show you how to report-enable WinForm or web applications by integrating them with Reporting Services. Get a sneak preview of the new RS controls that will be included in the next 2005 release of Reporting Services. SQL Pass Community Summit 2004 from Sept 29 to Sept 30 in Orlando, Florida I will join my coworkers from HP to present Reporting Services. Look for me in the HP exhibition booth (#301). Don’t miss this chance to ask me tough RS questions and see various code demos. Atlanta Microsoft Database Forum presentation (Atlanta.mdf) on October 11th Same as my ADNUG presentation. Looking forward to meeting you at one of these events!

  • Forms Authentication and RS Web Service

    August 27, 2004 / 7 Comments » / 1065 Views

    Often, report enabling Internet-facing applications require replacing the default RS Windows-based security with Forms Authentication. This allows clients to request reports by URL with the all the goodies that URL addressability entail, namely support for interactive features and the HTML Viewer toolbar. While RS Forms Authentication is well-documented (see the Forms Authentication whitepaper by Microsoft), something which may not be so obvious is that Forms Authentication can be used not only with URL addressability but also with the RS web service.  Let's say you want most of your reports to be requested by URL but some to be generated on the server-side of the application by SOAP. Or, you need to manage a Report Server installation configured for Forms Authentication from a WinForm client by calling the management SOAP APIs. The RS Forms Authentication model supports all these scenarios. All in all, it boils down to to storing the authentication ticket (cookie)...

  • Excel Add-in for SQL Server Analysis Services

    August 26, 2004 / 1 Comment » / 900 Views

    I have recently discovered the Excel Add-in for SQL Server Analysis Services. If Office Web Components are overkill for your Analysis Services smart client deployment or dev requirements, check out this toy. It requires Excel 2002 and higher installed on the user machine. Once connected to Analysis Services (standard, offline and HTTP connectivity is supported) you can create easility pivot-style reports. One cool feature that the add-in supports is exporting an AS cube to a local offline cube so you can move it between machines. More cool features: Create and maintain live data connections to multiple online analytical processing (OLAP) cubes, ensure data consistency and integrity, and combine data from multiple sources into a single report. Conduct detailed analysis using native Excel capabilities, extending the richness of analysis through "what if" and drill through capabilities. Personalize and easily author refresh report layouts, further reducing training costs and reliance on IT by leveraging...

  • My book is shipping on Amazon

    August 25, 2004 / 1 Comment » / 1006 Views

    My book is shipping on Amazon.com. It is also available on Barnes & Noble. Hurry up until supplies last :-)

  • Dynamic Query Data Extension Available

    August 21, 2004 / 1 Comment » / 1000 Views

    One of the limitations of RS version 1.0 is that it doesn't allow you set the connnection string (a.k.a. data source) during runtime. For example, you may need to support separate databases per client and based on the logged on client you may need to redirect the user to the appropriate database. To address this issue, Toby Riley developed an interesting dynamic query data extension which allows you to pass the connection string as a report parameter. If you don't want to pass the connection string as a parameter, you should be able easily to retrofit the code to read the connection string from a configuration file. For more information how this could be done read my posting at http://tinyurl.com/3tcpj. Toby's extension is buit upon mine ADO.NET custom dataset data extension. You can download and give the Dynamic Query Data Extension a spin at http://workspaces.gotdotnet.com/appworld. My custom ADO.NET dataset extension can be downloaded...

  • URL addressability vs. RS Web service

    August 21, 2004 / 2 Comments » / 1196 Views

    Judging by the questions post on the RS newsgroup, many developers are often confused about which implementation choice will best meet their integration requirements. I hope the following comparison will help you evaluate them:   URL addressability  (HTTP-GET)                                     ·          Implementation--The report request is submitted on the client side of the application directly to the Report Server. For Internet reporting, the Report Server has to be accessible on Internet. ·          Functionality--Limited to requesting reports only. ·          Interactive features (drilldown, drill-through, etc.)--Yes ·          HTML Viewer toolbar--Available ·          Integration effort--Easy, especially if the HTML Viewer meets your reporting requirements. For example, you can hardcode the report URL address in a hyperlink.       ·         Security--Windows-based (intranet reporting) or Form Authentication (Internet reporting) ·         Vulnerability-- A malicious user can see and exploit the report request ·         Flexibility--Less flexible ·         Performance—Better than RS Web service   RS Web Service  (SOAP)                                                ·          Implementation-- With web-based applications the report request is typically submitted on the server...

  • Time to migrate

    August 20, 2004 / 3 Comments » / 1169 Views

    Recently I had to migrate a Report Server installation from one server to another by keeping the Report Server catalog intact. If you find yourself in the same situation, here are the steps (hope I recall them right ): If you haven’t done this already, back up the encryption key of the old RS installation. RS uses encryption keys to encrypt vital information, such as credentials, connection strings, etc. in the RS catalog. You won’t be able to point the new installation to use the old catalog if you don’t migrate the encryption keys. To extract (backup) your encryption keys, issue the following command: rskeymgmt -e -fa:\keys.txt -p<password>, where password is any password you want to use to secure the encryption keys. You will need it later to restore the encryption keys on the new installation. For more info about the encryption keys, read Bryan Keller’s posting (http://blogs.msdn.com/bryanke/archive/2004/03/18/92102.aspx). If you need to...

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

    August 18, 2004 / No Comments » / 862 Views

    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...

  • School is here…and so is my book

    August 10, 2004 / 4 Comments » / 954 Views

    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 (http://www.manning.com/lachev). It will probably take a couple of weeks before the book reaches other outlets such as Amazon.com.   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!

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