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Navigation Options in Reports

By Vasant Raj,

Introduction

SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services provides various navigation options that can be specified if the data displayed for the generated report has some related information. This option allows the user to navigate through the related data from the same report.

Simple example can be considered is of Customer-Order details report. The report actually displays the order details for each customer. If the user needs some information related to customer, then he will have to run some other report to get the details. By creating a sub-report which contains the customer details and specifying it as a hyperlink from the Customer-Orders report, the user can navigate through customer details easily.

Navigation options

Any control that is placed from the toolbox on a report will have option to specify the navigation details.

Right-click on the control -> Properties -> Navigation Tab [in Figure 1]



[Figure 1]

The Hyperlink action section is not available in all the controls. All the controls which are available in Reporting Services are listed below, with the available Navigation options:

Report Control Document map label Bookmark ID Hyperlink Action

Textbox

Yes

Yes

Yes

Line

Yes

Yes

No

Table

Yes

Yes

Yes

Matrix

Yes

Yes

Yes

Rectangle

Yes

Yes

No

List

Yes

Yes

No

Image

Yes

Yes

Yes

Sub-report

Yes

Yes

No

Chart

Yes

Yes

No

Custom report item

No

No

No

Document map label and Bookmark ID are tags that can be specified to the control/field so that it can be referred from other controls/fields. The tag values specified in the fields can be used in the ‘Jump to bookmark’ field.

If a report contains document map, a separate pane appears to the left side of the report. When the items in the left pane are clicked, the area/control of the report that corresponds to the item in the document map are displayed or brought to focus.

To set a bookmark, just provide the ‘Bookmark ID’ for that particular control.

There are 3 Options available for hyperlinks:

  • Jump to report
  • Jump to bookmark
  • Jump to URL

Jump to report: This option allows to specify the report that will be executed when a particular control is clicked. If that report has parameters, the values can be provided using the “Parameters…” button. The values for the parameters can be from the current selected row in the report or the parameters from the calling report. The Values can also have expressions.

Jump to Bookmark: This option allows to mark/specify some control that can be shown or pointed to when required. For example, you can have an image in the report at the bottom of the page, and the focus will go to that image whenever some field is clicked. This can be used for textbox’s and images only.

For allowing the navigation to a bookmarked control from some field, give the ‘Bookmark ID’ of the control in the ‘Jump to Bookmark’ field.

Jump to URL: URL of the page to open can be specified here. This will open the specified page when the control is clicked. The page can be of any type. This option is very useful as it can be used to allow data modification from the reports itself.

Conclusion

Providing navigation in reports allows the user to view the data in quick and easy way. However, care has to be taken to decide the levels up to which the navigation has to be allowed. Also, there are some instances when the users might feel to update some records that are displayed in the report. This can be achieved using some simple programming techniques. I will discuss about that in the next article.

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