One element of SSRS i have never used is report builder. I understand report builder works much better with SSAS.
I have a request for a dashboard, but there are a lot of filters - making it an unpractical request. We are currently looking to the need for each filter at the moment. But it has led me to a question.
If i built an SSAS cube for this - with filters as dimensions. Then built the dashboard using Report builder. I am guessing they could then drag the measures into the filter area to change the dataset? (so they just choose the filters they want?)
Am i on the correct lines here?
Also is it possible to do this without giving the end users access to save the RDL`s to the server. So basically we give them the dashboard without filters and they then can add filters but not save.
Thanks for any advice.
Report builder is not really better with SSAS. It works best with report models, which can be simple SQL dataset based. Shared report parts work too but I've never created parts that are generic enough to use across multiple reports.
Report builder also works entirely on the server, if they want to edit reports then there is no deployment step, they are editing directly on the server which requires report edit permission. They don't necessarily have to save their changes, but to provide edit permission wouldn't prevent them from saving the report and overwriting the original. You could get them to save their own copies of reports too, but ensuring they don't overwrite is hard.
I don't believe report builder is ideal as a dashboard tool. Powerview is the ideal microsoft dashboarding tool that does enable all sorts of interactive filtering, although there are other better options in my opinion (e.g. Tableau).
Another option to consider is PowerPivot the free Excel addon. You can prepare a powerpivot dataset for them then provide them with some basic charts and filters and they can run with it, or you can do the whole report, because PowerPivot's strength is that you can create pivot tables and even better charts using highly interactive "slicers" that your users can play with. The bonus is the data is in Excel which is usually where they want to export it to.
SSRS is just not interactive enough to make dynamic dashboards in either in BIDS or report builder.