T-SQL Tuesday #005 – Reporting – The Round-Up

Well I’d say this T-SQL Tuesday was a success.  33 people contributed blogs; and two people ended up with two different posts they wanted to submit.  I would have had this round-up out sooner but trying to read 33 blog posts after work is a little much and terribly fun at the same time.  The fact that I kept stopping to try out what I had just read also hindered my progress.


If you read through all of these posts and aren’t inspired to go create some report that you’ve been meaning to get around to I don’t know what will ever inspire you.  I’m going to summarize them in the order they were received.

Rob Farley shows us some new features that involve easy mapping in SQL Server 2008 R2 with Report Builder 3.0.  VERY COOL!

Michael Coles Was part of the reason this was taking so long.  STOP what you are doing and DO THIS!!

Brad Schulz Well I’m not sure who Ella Vader is but I sure agree with the sentiment about the airlines.  Continuing with the ‘Holy Crap I’ve got to try that!’ theme that we’ve got going is a way to build org-charts or any other type of hierarchy you need.

David Gardiner points us to some useful posts on Microsoft Report Viewer 2010.  Damn handy of him.

Pinal Dave steps us through with screenshots how to configure a Management Data Warehouse. 

Stef Bauer shows us an easy way to setup an HTML table for presenting a cleaner list of events in an email.

Barnaby Self doesn’t want to go off on a rant or anything but would like to show us how to build a report using an MDX query (which I didn’t know is something that you can’t do straight out of the box).

Gethyn Ellis Goes into a more advanced version of something that I touched on in my post.  It’s important to off load your reporting to a different server.  If you don’t the next thing that you will hear is that your organization wants to store everything in XML. 

Jes Borland gives us a method to use when you need to find out what your business needs when building a new report.  If you don’t already have one yourself, print this out and pin it to your cube wall. (Oh and use it!)

Jason Strate steps us through how to create a Wait Stat report and even gives us the code!!

Dave Levy Shows us how to take the dashboard inside of SSMS and give it to anyone that doesn’t have SSMS installed but wants to know why the server is slow.  I will be getting up from my desk now to go show a couple of sysadmins how to do this!

Nicolas Cain gives us an explanation on row versioning.  I will be pointing a few of the developers I work with at this post.  If that doesn’t get them to stop putting WITH (NOLOCK) in their queries I’m just going to find myself a lead pipe 🙂 (Just kidding, I do not condone work place violence unless it involves the physical safety of the data; and even then I don’t have to worry about it, that’s why our security guards carry guns.)

Stephen Spanos shows us how to create an updateable report.

Jack Corbett Keeps us from looking like fools by showing us how to prevent emailing a report that is blank.  Why has no one ever told me how to do this before?!  Thanks Jack!!

Pat Wright Shows us how to work with vertical tables.  You need to take a look at this.  I don’t know if this is allowed but I asked for a follow-up post because this one hits really close to home on something that I’m working on right now.

Seth Phelabaum Saw into the future came through with something that we’re all going to need after we get inspired and setup a bunch of the reports that these people have showed us are so easy to do.  🙂  A way to report on your reports.

Chad Miller shows us how to use PowerShell to report on the connection strings inside of your SSIS packages.

Robert Davis Points out a feature bug of running SSRS 2008 with smart card login on Windows 2008*.  This is not the first time I have seen a bug reported about SSRS causing problems with things that seem completely unrelated so I guess I will just take comfort that the SSRS really like the concept of securing every angle.

Sankar Reddy Answers a freaking excellent question: Who put my database offline?  He tells us about an undocumented feature fn_dblog that lets us know changes that have been going on with our db.  I’m definitely going to spend some time

Michael Swart takes us back to that subject brought up by Jes Borland about gathering requirements and encourages us to be the user.

Paul Randal shows us that we can query internal objects in one database that doesn’t have the functionality we need from another database that does have the functionality that we do need. 

Mike Walsh who hosted last month (and I wish would have warned me just how much reading I was in for!) shows us a feature that I had no idea was in SQL Sentry.  It actually reports database growth for you now.  I use SQL Sentry about 3 times a week and man I’m starting to feel like I need a full day class on all of the new features they’ve packed into this new version.

Kalen Delaney tells us some history info on the COMPUTE BY clause which I didn’t know was being removed.  I have some ways I wish they would improve it instead of removing it and Adam Machanic tells me ‘COMPUTE BY has been replaced by a feature called Grouping Sets – Grouping Sets produces a single result, with NULLs in place of the values for columns that are being grouped’… but I digress back to Kalen’s terrific post.  If you’ve ever tried to explain how a cube works to someone that understands relational data but doesn’t understand dimensional data you’re in luck because she has included a diagram that can really help 🙂

Mark Blakey takes us back to the topic of MDX in SSRS reports and shares a rule with us “Rule 1 – Never trust the automatically generated hidden datasets”. 

Adam Machanic the founder of this little shindig answers the question “Why is Adam wasting my time with this garbage?”  He also walks us through some common problems that arise with purely technical reports.  In many of the places that I have worked no one has taken the time to solve these problems.  Well at least now I have somewhere to point them to.

Jorge Segarra shows us how to gets some nice reports out of a SQL Server 2008 feature called Policy Based Management.

Jason Brimhall who technically did two posts on this topic – shows us how he answered the question “why my primary file group was still so large after moving all of the User objects out of that filegroup and into new filegroups?”  I actually posed a very similar question to Paul Randal during the BOF lunch at the 2009 PASS Summit.  Maybe I should finally get around to blogging everything I wrote down from his answer.

Andre Kamman steps us through how to create an index like you find in the back of a book.  Then he take it further and teaches us how to make it look good.

Gabriel Villa Shows us how to set parameters in SSRS.

Adam Haines shows us how to create and email HTML reports.

Stacia Misner shares with us some observation about new properties and globals that you can find in the upcoming release of Reporting Services including PageName, ResetPageNumber, Globals!PageName & Globals!PageNumber, Globals!OverallPageNumber and Globals!OverallTotalPages.

Steve Jones walks us through his solution to one of the most common problems I run into when automating reports.  Two people running the same report at different times and getting different answers.

Aaron Nelson and finally I give some insight into a better way to allow desktop gadgets (and other reports) to report off of your production sales data.  I then walk you through how to create a desktop gadget using a third party tool.


Since this topic was Reporting I thought I’d point out that a free e-book has been release for SQL Server 2008 R2 and Chapter 9 is on Reporting Services.  You’ll probably recognize that one of the names on that book is one of the bloggers that joined us in this round of T-SQL Tuesday.  You can read more about the book here.

That’ wraps up the wrap-up.  If there’s something that I missed or a better summary that I could use please let me know.

Oh, and some advice to future hosts.  Consider taking a half-day off.

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