10 Bad Things About Reporting Services 2008 R2

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item 10 Bad Things About Reporting Services 2008 R2

    Andy is a director of Wise Owl[/url], a UK company providing training courses (and occasional consultancy) in SQL, Reporting Services, Integration Services and Analysis Services, as well as in many other Microsoft software applications. You can see more about Wise Owl's SQL Server training courses here[/url].

  • I find the lack of "Paste Format Button" the most annoying thing - if it was available it would be a big time saver.

  • Paste Format be damned, I want a stylesheet editor that interactively shows the effect of styling on tables and text, with the option to use my own report as the sample.

    They can crib from Microsoft Frontpage, or Microsoft Expression Thingummy.

    And for god's sake port the damn thing to VS2010.

  • And a renderer for XAML so reports can be rendered directly into the UI of a WPF/Silverlight application without a lardass third party report viewer control.

  • the lack of exporting to .xlsx is my number one hatred but the article definitely rings true

  • Format painter ! I wish for that daily. Stylesheets, maybe , but format painter at the very least.

    I don't mind the group pane view. At least when you click on a group you can be confident you're on the right one. Sometimes when you have nested groups its really hard to find the grouping cell so you can get to its properties. I'm sure this idea comes straight from Crystal's 'group expert'. Another thing you can do is go to the advanced mode in the group pane and set the properties of those other cells. That might actually be the answer your problem with repeating headers / scrolling headers.

    VS2010, I'm sure that will come later with Denali, doesn't bother me.

    At least with the 2008 R2 BIDS you can target the deploy to a 2008 server.

    The most annoying bug is using parameters in queries, where if you change them too much it breaks:

    " the expression that references the parameter "param" does not exist in the parameters collection. "

    Seems to only happen to me with MDX. Whatever you do, don't rename your parameters or try and add new ones after you depart from visual query mode.

    Fair enough that you lose your query if you try and go from text mode back to visual mode, but the text mode parameter editor just doesn't ever seem to add parameters to the 'collection' whatever that is. Maybe I'm doin it wrong.

  • Adding report parameters from the UI is missing.

  • I disagree with the comment about share data sets.

    In our company we constantly use the same parameter data sets in almost our reports and creating shared sets ensure consistency between parameters across all of them.

    My biggest issue is the differences between 2008 and 2008R2 BI. It seems that each different version has different rdl styles and therefore cross platform support becomes difficult.


  • Hey Andy nice articles both good and bad ones . I would only add to the bad list. They don't allow reports to be localised. You have to jump through so many hoops to get that done.when you can do it so easily in asp.net

  • Hey Andy,

    Great article, but finished up with:

    I particularly like its ease of use and its superb error messages (other Microsoft departments could learn a lot from the SSRS team).

    Are you new to SSRS? 🙂 I'm regularly coming across totally cryptic or deceptive error messages in SSRS 2008 such as the following:

    [rsInvalidFilterValueDataType] A filter value in the filter for tablix ‘tabData’ specifies a data type that is not supported by the 'TopN' operator. Verify that the data type for each filter value is Integer.

    Although it worked perfectly well in Preview mode in the report designer, this error message appeared when the report was actually deployed. In the end it turned out that the Value field for a Top N expression (in Dataset properties / Filters) I had "20" instead of "=20". Now to me "20" is an integer value and "=20" is an expression - but who am I to argue with the great SSRS team?

    Kind regards,


  • I knew this would happen the actual big problems are totally glossed over.

    All this talk of stored procedures etc.. is worth nothing in the case where you are running SSRS integrated into a web app over the internet hence you don't have Windows/SQL Authentication.

    In this case when users are using a data model instead things go majorly pear shaped.

    The worse thing is there is a gigantic WTF school boy error in Report Builder 3 whereby it does not close the connection to the web service after it gets used and without fiddling about in the app.config (that is deployed clickonce style so why would a user do this) to change it.

    What this means is that you:

    1) Start a new report (use wizard), choose the data model >> next

    2) Drag the fields you want onto design surface >> next

    3) BANG!!!!!!!!!! Report Builder 3 hangs.

    The maximum number of connections is something like 1024 so even the app.config hack doesn't help if a user does too much in one session.

  • It could be worse. You could be using Crystal Reports.

    Have you drawn this to the attention of the responsible team?

    Admittedly the SQL Server team is a rather closed and uncommunicative shop. I can't get so much as a "thankyou for your bug report, it has been queued for evaluation" out of them, in stark contrast to the Silverlight team which is extremely responsive provided you furnish a repro and a write-up and you don't waste their time.

  • I hope the team know because we didn't figure out the workaround..... Microsoft did.

    We ended up calling Microsoft for support (we're a gold partner) and we were lucky enough to get someone who knew what they were talking about/doing and was able to get us the workaround within a couple of days.

  • Is noone else getting BSOD when clicking seemingly honest buttons?? (Like 'New Report', Inserting 'Report Parts', Inserting 'sub reports')?? Not 'completely' consistent in their computer killing ways (I have had it work on occasion)... but close!

    Maybe it's something about the workstations we are using having Windows XP (completely updated) with no SQL server installed or something...

    This is by far the biggest problem we've encountered with the software...

  • I've never experience that nor have our clients. I'd try on a completely different machine. BSOD typically are caused by hardware/drivers not applications in my experience.

    The intermittent nature sounds like a RAM issue.

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