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New Features in Reporting Services 2005


New Reporting Services 2005 Features

A few years ago before Reporting Services 2005 was

released, I had these 2 issues at the User Acceptance Test in a data warehouse

project: run time sort and non scrolling header. We could not satisfy these

requests because these features were not available at that time. Now that these

features are available in Reporting Services 2005, in this article I will share

this experience with you, in case you encounter the same issues on your data

warehouse project.

Run Time Sort

Run time sort is a new feature in Reporting Services 2005.

This feature is formally called Interactive Sort. It was not available in the

previous edition of Reporting Services. In the previous edition of Reporting

Services, we can only specify the sorting order when we design the report. For

example, if we have a report consisting of 5 columns, the sorting order could

be column 1 descending then column 2 ascending. But at run time the users have

no means to change the sorting order. Interactive sort is sorting order at run

time, i.e. the users can sort the report on any column they want when they are

viewing the report. As shown on the Amadeus Entertainment Store Details report

on figure 1, on the column header there are 2 little triangles which the users

can use to sort that column.

Figure 1. A report with interactive sort

To do this, right click on the column header that you want

the 2 little triangles to be, and select Properties. Click on the Interactive

Sort tab and set the sort expression, data region and scope, as shown in figure

2 below.

Figure 2. Configuring interactive sort

Non Scrolling Header

In the previous edition of Reporting Services, when you

scroll down a report, the report header goes away, leaving us with only the

cells of the report, as shown on figure 3 below. This makes it difficult to

identify which columns belong to which headers. Non scrolling header is a

feature by which we can fix the header so that when we scroll the report down

we can still see the header.

Figure 3. The report header goes away when we scroll down

To avoid this click on any cell on the report then right

click on the top left corner cell (to the left of column 1 header) and choose

Properties. Tick on Header should remain visible while scrolling checkbox, as

shown on figure 4 below.

Figure 4. Setting the report header to remain visible when scrolling

Now when we scroll down the report, the header remains

visible on the top of the report, as shown on figure 5 below.

Figure 5. The report with non scrolling header in place

Although these 2 new features are simple and easy, they

are very important to user friendliness. I hope you will find them useful.

Vincent Rainardi

9 May 2007


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