Resource Guide

Report Builder tutorials and resources for SQL Server

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Originally released as a component of SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, Report Builder is a client-side reporting system designed to help end users sidestep the usual challenges of report building. Using a drag-and-drop environment, Report Builder makes it easy for end users to build and modify reports without in-depth knowledge of database schema, connection strings or SQL query construction.

This resource guide provides links relating to each version of Microsoft Report Builder for SQL Server, with tutorials on basic functionality, key improvement details and how-tos for advanced data visualization techniques.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction to Report Builder
Report Builder 2.0
Report Builder 3.0
 

  Introduction to Microsoft Report Builder

Report Builder 1.0 tutorials and how-to's from Microsoft

Starting Report Builder 1.0

Creating a Report

Designing a Report

Running a Report

Report Builder 1.0 was designed in the fashion of popular Microsoft office apps, allowing end users to easily (and more comfortably) build reports and explore data. Since Report Builder 1.0 reports are published using Report Definition Language (RDL), they can be modified with Report Designer or Report Builder 2.0.

Working with Report Builder 1.0
Learn how Report Builder simplifies the creation and design of ad hoc reports with drag and drop functionality, templates and parameters. You'll also find a breakdown of the end-user friendly layout. (Microsoft.com)

Designing and implementing reports using Report Builder 1.0
Get an in-depth view of the Report Builder tool, including insight for its interactive data exploration functionality, report models and integration with SQL Server Reporting Services. (Microsoft.com)

  Report Builder 2.0

With the release of SQL Server 2008 came Report Builder 2.0, featuring several enhancements in the areas of data layout and visualization. Report Builder 2.0 is notable for instituting a user interface similar to Microsoft Office 2007.

The Report Builder 2.0 user interface (click to enlarge)

Chapter Excerpts

An overview of SQL Server Report Builder 2.0
This chapter excerpt from Learning SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services includes details on the new interface in Report Builder 2.0 and how to create descriptive reports.

 

Report Builder 2.0 and other enhancements with Reporting Services 2008
There is more to reporting than Report Builder in SSRS 2008. This excerpt from Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Unleashed covers some of the enhancements made to Report Builder along with other features such as Report Designer and the ReportViewer control.

Report Builder 2.0 tutorials and how-to's

What is ClickOnce?

ClickOnce is a smart client deployment feature for the .NET Framework 2.0 that offers a reliable method to automatically update and deploy Windows applications from a centralized site.

For more information on what ClickOnce is and how it works, click here.

Designing and implementing reports using Report Builder 2.0
Both Report Builder 2.0 beginners and experienced users will find useful information in this section, with tips on getting started, an overview of the authoring environment, working with your data and more. (Microsoft.com)

Configuring Report Builder 1.0 and Report Builder 2.0 Access
While Report Builder 1.0 is a ClickOnce application only, Report Builder 2.0 is available as a standalone or ClickOnce application. this page explains how to configure Report Builder 2.0 as a ClickOnce application. (Microsoft.com)

Additional Report Builder 2.0 tutorials
Looking for lessons on how to create basic reports using Report Builder 2.0? this page from Microsoft offers demonstrations of how to add parameters, column charts, pie charts, bar charts and a KPI to reports with the 2008 version of Report Builder. (Microsoft.com)

  Report Builder 3.0

Part of the SQL Server 2008 R2 suite of tools, Report Builder 3.0 comes with a number of new features designed to give a boost to your standard, run-of-the-mill reports. The following section provides in-depth tips from SQL Server expert Robert Sheldon on two of these features -- gauges and charts -- with details on the various options for each.

Using gauges with Report Builder 3.0
Gauges enable users to create more effective reports with SQL Server Reporting Services. This three-part series explains how gauges work in Report Builder 3.0, as well as how to set them up and refine them.

Part 1: Adding gauges to reports with Report Builder 3.0
Part one of this three-part series explains how gauges work in Report Builder 3.0 and how to set them up.
Part 2: Configuring pointers, scales and ranges
Pointers, scales and ranges can influence the overall effectiveness of your reports when working with gauges. Understanding them can help you get the most out of Report Builder 3.0.
Part 3: Putting the final touches on gauges
Even when your gauge is complete, there are still some extra tricks you can use to make your reports even more effective.

Using charts with Report Builder 3.0
Like gauges, charts enhance Report Builder 3.0 reports by providing meaningful data in a visual format that can be quickly understood. This five-part series explains how charts can be used in a variety of ways to ensure that the data you want to communicate is properly understood.

Part 1: Adding charts to reports with Report Builder 3.0
Learn how to add charts in RB 3.0 and how they can improve the effectiveness of SSRS reports.

Part 2: Creating bar charts with Report Builder 3.0
Once you are ready to add charts to your reports, the next step is to figure out which types of charts make the most sense. This section details the creation of bar reports in Report Builder 3.0 and outlines the different bar options that are available to you.

Example of a bar chart in RB 3.0 (click to enlarge)

Part 3: Generating column and line charts
Two other common chart types in Report Builder 3.0 are column and line charts. Learn how to add both to your SSRS reports.
Part 4: Using range charts for visualization with Report Builder 3.0
This article explains when range charts are appropriate in SQL Server Reporting Services, and how to set them up.
Part 5: Utilizing shape charts with Report Builder 3.0
Finally, we've gotten to the simplest charts of all – shape charts. Pie and funnel formats are the simplest types of charts in Report Builder 3.0. Learn when and when not to use them.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction to Report Builder
Report Builder 2.0
Report Builder 3.0

This was first published in January 2010

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