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Posted Tuesday, September 17, 2013 8:53 AM


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Couple of SQL realted Book Questions

I am seeking a book on SSRS 2012 and am considering the recently published title from Wrox called 'Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services' whcih Paul Turley is listed as one of the authors. I want a physical copy of the book (call me old fashion) but I would also like to get an eletronic copy as well and had hoped that like with BluRay movies these days, hard copies of books would come with some electronic form of the book. Its been a few years since I last got a book so this may sound like a dumb question.

I am seeking something on SSRS 2012 that starts from the basics and goes up thru the more advanced. I am well versed in banded report design like that used in Crystal Reports and so the whole object oriented approach used by Reporting Services is very confusing to say the least. This is why I need something that is for both starters buut also goes beyoiund the 'For Dummies' introductory level.


1) Does anyone know if most SQL Server related books (the actual printed hard copies of books and not eBooks) come with a digital copy of the book when you buy the hard copy? I realize this answer will vary from piblisher to publichser and even book to book from teh same publisher.

2) Are there any good unbiased (meaning uninfluenced by corporate entities from publishers to other entities with a vested interest in not being totally honest in order to sell you something) book review sites/groups that might include coverage of SSRS books preferably version 2012?

3) Any personal recomendations on SSRS 2012 books?


Thanks


Kindest Regards,

Just say No to Facebook!
Post #1495544
Posted Tuesday, September 17, 2013 1:27 PM
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Amazon is going to offer a service soon that allows you to purchase a eBook/Kindle version of a physical book you've purchased from Amazon for a low cost ($0.99 - $2.99).

This would allow you to get both physical and electronic versions for about the same price.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/3/4689346/amazon-kindle-matchbook-bundles-physical-books-with-ebooks

I'm not sure when this program starts.

HTH,
Rob

Post #1495649
Posted Monday, September 23, 2013 1:37 PM


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Thanks for the tip robert.

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Post #1497524
Posted Monday, September 23, 2013 1:38 PM


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Several days and 60+ views later and not a single recomendation on a book. WOW> What does that say about SSRS?

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Post #1497527
Posted Monday, September 23, 2013 2:05 PM
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FWIW, I started with Brian Larson's book on SSRS 2008. It was okay. He walks you through setup, which helps. Also, his instructions are usually really easy to follow. One complaint - "wordy" doesn't even begin to describe it. He repeats the same steps for doing things like creating a dataset, etc (that you could probably do in your sleep after about the third time) seemingly forever. In fairness, though, when I e-mailed and asked him a question, he did answer.

The other thing I found disappointing about his book was the amount of "filler" stuff - for a beginner book, I'm not sure of the value of most of his appendices (and there are about 150 pages worth!) Hopefully his 2012 version is better.
Post #1497541
Posted Tuesday, September 24, 2013 7:55 AM
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YSLGuru (9/23/2013)
Several days and 60+ views later and not a single recomendation on a book. WOW> What does that say about SSRS?

I've purchased books on T-SQL query tuning, SSAS, MDX, etc., but none about SSRS. I just tend to muddle my way through report issues.

I don't know if that says more about me or SSRS.

Rob
Post #1497867
Posted Tuesday, September 24, 2013 3:17 PM


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Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services from WROX publishing (by Paul Turley and several others) is what I ended up getting and so far its been a very good book. There are some gaps (missing details or info with regards to steps when you are suppose to follow along) but nothing to detract from recomending it.

I have a much better understanding of SSRS now in general. I believe what far too many pro-SSRS people adress is the massive (yes I mean massive) differences between traditonal "banded" reporting (used by products like Crystal Reports and even MS Access ) and this object oriented reporting embraced by SSRS. I may be wrong and maybe object oriented reporting is very popular outside of SSRS but I had never heard of it prior to SSRS.

Unless you are a newbie to reporting you've porbably been taught/learned report wrting using the banded method. Its a major shift from that style of reporting to the OO Reporting in SSRS and it appears that this is ignored or downlplayed too much by many in the group pushing SSRS. When SSRS was new, a version 1.0 product it was expected that some things would not work. Even as of the latest version of SSRS that comes with SQL Server 2012 there are mising and or broekn feeatures that are hard to excuse. For example, not being able to repeat group headers/footers on more then the first page. This may not seem like a big deal but depeneindg on your industry the inability to repeat headings on sucessive pages is a major mistake. But I digress...

From what I've read so fgar this book is a definate recomend.


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Post #1498051
Posted Monday, September 30, 2013 9:27 AM


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YSLGuru (9/24/2013)
Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services from WROX publishing (by Paul Turley and several others) is what I ended up getting and so far its been a very good book. There are some gaps (missing details or info with regards to steps when you are suppose to follow along) but nothing to detract from recomending it.

I have a much better understanding of SSRS now in general. I believe what far too many pro-SSRS people adress is the massive (yes I mean massive) differences between traditonal "banded" reporting (used by products like Crystal Reports and even MS Access ) and this object oriented reporting embraced by SSRS. I may be wrong and maybe object oriented reporting is very popular outside of SSRS but I had never heard of it prior to SSRS.


Thanks for the update. I have extensive background/experience in Crystal Reports and I'm just now getting into SSRS. I'll check out that book. But just from poking around SSRS it seems weaker than Crystal. Just trying to move a column over to the left or right is a major undertaking and shouldn't be.
Post #1500070
Posted Monday, September 30, 2013 12:07 PM


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Jeff Atherton (9/30/2013)
YSLGuru (9/24/2013)
Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services from WROX publishing (by Paul Turley and several others) is what I ended up getting and so far its been a very good book. There are some gaps (missing details or info with regards to steps when you are suppose to follow along) but nothing to detract from recomending it.

I have a much better understanding of SSRS now in general. I believe what far too many pro-SSRS people adress is the massive (yes I mean massive) differences between traditonal "banded" reporting (used by products like Crystal Reports and even MS Access ) and this object oriented reporting embraced by SSRS. I may be wrong and maybe object oriented reporting is very popular outside of SSRS but I had never heard of it prior to SSRS.


Thanks for the update. I have extensive background/experience in Crystal Reports and I'm just now getting into SSRS. I'll check out that book. But just from poking around SSRS it seems weaker than Crystal. Just trying to move a column over to the left or right is a major undertaking and shouldn't be.



Jeff,

As you read the below please keep in mind that I use to be a fan of SSRS.

In the beginning I wanted very much to embrace SSRS; that was when I had only read about SSRS and had not yet tried to actually create a report using SSRS.

SSRS has gotten better with each new version but after 3 major revisions the thing still does not allow for some of the most basic of report writing needs such as repeating group headers on multiple pages. The option to do that is in SSRS it simply does not work. Trying to move around fields/columns in your SSRS report is just the start. Wait till you get to grouping and try to expand the group by either adding an outer/parent group.

With the exception of when I first learned about windows computing (back during Windows 95 ) I can safely say I’ve spent more time and effort trying to learn SSRS then any other new technology. After spending this much time with SSRS I believe I can say with confidence that Reporting Services is not a replacement or even a substitute for traditional custom reporting tools like Crystal Reports. I believe SSRS is a traditional developer lead technology that was created by developers for developers as an alternative to the traditional “banded” style/method of custom report development. Developers wanted a fast an easy way to create custom reports, something that with drag and drop alone they could build basic reports quickly. SSRS meets these 2 needs, ease of use and rapid development, thru the sacrifice of a WYSIWYG development environment and the restriction of development to a spreadsheet like interface.

SSRS works by using what it calls data regions. Data Regions are like mini spreadsheets that create a report via rows and columns. SSRS data regions consist of the tablix, a list and a table. The table is just that, a table or spreadsheet consisting of rows and columns. A tablix is a table that has built in aggregation/pivot capabilities. Think of a pivot table in an excel spreadsheet and you get the idea of a tablix; at least that’s my understanding of the tablix. A list is (I think) meant to be a free form data region. A list is the SSRS version of the DETAIL section in a Crystal Reports report.

So in Crystal you have bands or sections and in SSRS you have data regions. There are a few pluses to SRS when it comes to dynamically expanding columns (via tablix and pivot like functionality) but aside from that the older Crystal Reports and the banded style of report development are superior. If SSRS was pay per use and not free with SQL Server I doubt it would have lasted beyond version2, version 3.0 at the most.

Good luck.


Kindest Regards,

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Post #1500148
Posted Monday, September 30, 2013 12:41 PM


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Thanks, I've heard similar things about SSRS before but was hoping that SQL 2012 made it better. Sounds like they still have a ways to go.
Post #1500160
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