Jul 232012
 

I have a situation where there is an alternate authentication method in place on SharePoint and deploying reports using the Visual Studio deployment options won’t work.  To get around this while they sort it out I have manually loaded the reports, data sources and shared datasets to SharePoint.  There were a few tricks which I would like to remember so I’ll post them here.

1. Create 3 document libraries:

The first thing I did was create three libraries, one for Reports, one for Shared Datasets and one for Shared Data Sources.  You don’t have to have separate libraries, but I find it more user friendly to keep these items separate.  I don’t want users weeding through data sets and data sources to get to their reports.  Here is how to create these libraries.  The one surprise is to use a content type of Report Builder Report for the Shared Datasets.  I imagine this is to allow you to configure your Dataset to connect to a Data Source.

2. Create (don’t upload) the Data Source.

Navigate to the Data Source library you created. From the Documents tab select New Document.  Do not try to upload a data source you have already created for your report, since, for whatever reason, SharePoint won’t recognize it as a Report Data Source. You need to recreate it.  

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Configure the data source appropriately. Choose “Stored Credentials” to allow for proxy authentication, and select “Use as Windows credentials”.  Click on the Test Connection button to be sure it is working.  Click OK.

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3. Upload the Shared Datasets:

Navigate to your Shared Datasets library and from the Documents tab you can “Upload Document” or  “Upload Multiple Documents” depending on how many shared datasets you have. 

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4. Connect the Shared Datasets to the Data Source:

Connect the shared datasets to the appropriate data source.  Click the drop down beside the dataset and select “Manage Data Sources”.

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Click on the “DataSetDataSource”, which will have the yellow caution triangle to let you know it has not been configured.

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Click on the ellipsis and navigate to wherever you created the data source in SharePoint. 

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Click OK and click Close.  Do this for all the Shared Datasets you uploaded.

5. Upload the Report:

Navigate to the Report library you created.  From the Documents tab select Upload Document and upload your Report Services report.

6. Connect the Report to the Data Source:

From the drop down beside the report select “Manage Data Sources”.

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Same as step 4, click on the name of the data source that needs to be connected.  Click on the ellipsis and navigate to where the data source is stored in SharePoint.  Click OK. Click Close.

7. Connect the Report to the Shared Datasets:

From the drop down beside the report select “Manage Shared Datasets”

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From the list of dataset names which need to connected, click on the first one which has a yellow caution triangle beside it.  This lets you know that the dataset has not yet been connected. 

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Click on the ellipsis and navigate to where you have stored your shared datasets.  Select the dataset.  Click OK. Repeat this for any shared datasets which have not been connected.  Click Close.

You are ready to view your report.  If you get any data source errors, check that the Shared Datasets are all connected correctly to the data source, as well as the report.

Jul 232012
 

For whatever reason this type of library is not out-of-the-box.  I have to set it up manually every time.  Here are the steps for this particular client.  They will be similar for other SharePoint/SSRS set ups.  You can follow these instructions to set up an SSRS Data Source library and an SSRS Share DataSet library.

Document type                        Content Type

Report Services Report       Report Builder Report

Data Source                              Report Data Source

Shared DataSet                       Report Builder Report

1. Create a Document Library in SharePoint.

Go to Libraries.  Click Create.  Call your new library “Reports”.

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2. Allow Management of Content Types.

Click on your library. Go to Library Settings. Click on Advanced Settings.  Change the radio button for “Allow management of content types” to Yes.  Click OK.

3. Add Report Content type.

In the Library Setting under Content Types click on “Add from existing site content types”.  In this case the client is using Report Builder content types for reporting, which will work fine for Report Services reports.

 

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From the “Select site content types from” drop down, select “Report Server Content Types”.  Add any content types you would like to maintain in your Reports library.  I prefer to keep data sources and data sets in separate libraries, but some people like to keep them on one library.  Take note that whichever content type floats to the top of your Content Type list will be the Default content type for your library.  This will matter when creating and adding new documents.  Add the default Content Type first, and then any others.  Click OK.

If you don’t see the Report Server Content Types listed in the drop down, you may need to activate them on your Site Collection.  Read this post to find out how to do that – http://dataqueen.unlimitedviz.com/2013/05/activating-ssrs-report-content-types-for-sharepoint/

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4. Delete the Document Content Type.

Under Content Types select the “Document” content type.

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Select “Delete this content type”.

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This will make the Report Builder Report content type the default content type.

You are ready to deploy SSRS reports to your SharePoint library.

If you find that you are unable to deploy your reports using the deploy feature in Visual Studio – for example Visual Studio keeps asking you for credentials when you try to deploy – you may want to manually upload the reports and data sources to SharePoint.  Read this post to find out how http://dataqueen.unlimitedviz.com/2012/07/manually-deploy-ssrs-reports-to-sharepoint/

Feb 102012
 

I have a customer who has huge numbers of SKUs. Their reporting is using an SSAS cube as the data source. When filtering an SSRS report the users have to scroll through many many records to get to the SKU they want.   There is a type-ahead feature built into SSRS but you have to type superfast and hit it exactly in order to make it work.  I came across this great solution, and would like to blog the step-by-step with a cube as datasource. 

The solution is basically to add an additional text parameter which will prefilter the available values in the large parameter list.  This way the user doesn’t have to scroll through the long list to find the item they want, but can produce a shorter picklist, or even reduce the list down to one value if they type the exact SKU in.  They still have to check the box on the item they want, even if they’ve typed it all in, but it is still a good option when dealing with huge lists.

1. Alter your existing Available Values query to include the new pre-filter parameter.

When you created the original parameter in the report BIDS automatically created the dataset for the Available Values in the parameter.

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You need to alter this query to use an additional pre-filter text based parameter.

1. Show hidden datasets.  Right click on your data source and select Show Hidden Datasets

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2. Find out which dataset is being used by your parameter in the Available Values.  Right click on the parameter and select Parameter Properties.  Select the Available Values tab and find the name of the query being used.

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3. Open up the dataset query.  Right click on the dataset you just identified, and select Query.

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4. Add a parameter to the query.Click on the parameter button in Query Designer.

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Type in the name of the new Parameter you would like to add for the type-ahead prefilter, and put in a Default value.  Don’t worry, you can change the default value in your Parameter Properties later if you wish.

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Select OK.

5. Add the highlighted additional line of MDX to your query. Place the line right before the very last FROM [nameofcube], and add a close bracket at the end of the query.  This MDX will further filter your available values based on what is typed into the prefilter you are creating.

WITH MEMBER [Measures].[ParameterCaption] AS [Product].[Style Code].CURRENTMEMBER.MEMBER_CAPTION MEMBER [Measures].[ParameterValue]
AS [Product].[Style Code].CURRENTMEMBER.UNIQUENAME MEMBER [Measures].[ParameterLevel] AS [Product].[Style Code].CURRENTMEMBER.LEVEL.ORDINAL
SELECT {[Measures].[ParameterCaption], [Measures].[ParameterValue], [Measures].[ParameterLevel]} ON COLUMNS , [Product].[Style Code].ALLMEMBERS ON ROWS
FROM ( SELECT ( STRTOSET(@ProductDivisionCode, CONSTRAINED) ) ON COLUMNS
FROM ( SELECT (IIF(LEN(@ProductStyleCode_filter) =0, ([[Product].[Style Code].ALLMEMBERS), (FILTER([Product].[Style Code].ALLMEMBERS, INSTR ([Product].[Style Code].CURRENTMEMBER.MEMBER_CAPTION , @ProductStyleCode_filter) > 0)))) ON COLUMNS
FROM [Sales and Inventory])     )  

Click OK to save your Query.

BIDS has created your new paramater for you.  Now you can edit the default value of your parameter if you like, and then test your report. All should be working as expected.

Thanks to Thomas Puch and Ella Maschiach for their blogs on the subject.

Jan 182012
 

When dealing with report parameters that involve time, I usually like to default the report to the current unit of time used by the report, often month.  When a user views the report in a particular month the parameter will always default to that month, saving the user from having to select it every time.

There are two elements to making this happen.  One is to define the current month in your Time dimension,  and the other is to build the dataset into your report to feed the default for the Time parameters.

1. Define current month in the SSAS Time dimension

I know there is Time functionality built into SSAS cubes, but I still like the flexibility of building attributes into my DIM_Date table in the data warehouse.  In this way it can be used in both cube and SQL queries alike.  I won’t go into details about how the Dim_Date table is created as that is another subject.  The DIM_Date table is rebuilt nightly and an attribute called MonthPeriod identifies whether the date is in Current Month, Previous Month, etc.  You can label any months you like, with your own descriptions.  Some examples are below.

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The important thing about this attribute is to ensure that MonthPeriodID for the current month is always 0, and the MonthPeriodID for other months is relative to that. So ‘Current Month –1’ is 1, ‘Current Month –2’ will be 2, etc. This way you can build logic into your reports which relies on the fact that, for example, last month has a MonthPeriodID of 1.  It is critically important that the underlying ids belonging to each description are always the same.  If Current Month is 0 today and changes to 10 tomorrow, the defaults in your reports will not work.  SSRS stores the MDX tuple associated with the description and not the actual description. So when you select ‘Current Month’ in step 3 below, SSRS is storing [TIME].[Month Period].&[0] and not the ‘Current Month’ label.

Once you have this attribute defined in your DIM_Date table and it is being updated nightly, add it to the SSAS cube for use in your reports.

2. Build the default dataset into your report to feed the SSRS Parameter.

Background:

When you build the main dataset for the report and add parameters in your dataset,

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SSRS automatically creates the dataset for the Available Values for the parameter. You can view these hidden datasets used to feed Available Values by right clicking on [Datasets] in the [Report Data] window in SSRS and selecting [Show Hidden Datasets]. 

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You can view and/or edit any of these hidden datasets.

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I don’t recommend editing the hidden datasets, since they are created and used by SSRS by default and your changes can sometimes be overwritten if you add additional datasets using the same parameters.  If you wish to customize the Available Values you are better off creating a new dataset with a different name specific to that purpose and then changing Report Parameter Properties to use the new dataset to retrieve the Available Values.

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Building the Default Dataset

For this particular report the user can choose Year and then Month Of Year.  The same dataset can be used to feed both the default current year and the current month. 

1. Right click on Datasets in the Report Data window and select Add Dataset.

2. Select the Radio Button ‘Use a dataset embedded in my report’.  I like to use Shared Datasets for this type of thing, but for some reason shared datasets used for defaults with an SSAS data source don’t seem to work when published to SharePoint.  So for now just embed it in the report.  Select (or define) the cube you are using as your Data source, and click on the Query Designer button.

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3. From the TIME dimension drag the ‘Month Period’ attribute defined in Part 1 to the filter area of the Query Designer.  Click in the Filter Expression and select ‘Current Month’. Click OK.

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4.  Drag Year and Month of Year onto the Query design page.  Right click on the design page and select ‘Include Empty Cells’ so the current attributes will appear when the query is executed.

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5. Right click in the Calculated Members area and select ‘New Calculated Member’.  From the Metadata pane drag the Year attribute from the TIME dimension into the Expression pane.  Add to the end of the expression “.CurrentMember.UniqueName”.  Give the Calculated Member a name of ‘YearValue’.  Click OK.

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6. Right click on the new calculated member called YearValue and select Add to Query.

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7.  Add another calculated member following steps 5 & 6 called MonthOfYearValue. 

 

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8. Your dataset now contains the Label and the underlying MDX tuple needed to feed the default time values to your report parameter.

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9. Click OK to close out of the Query Designer.  Give the dataset a name of DefaultYearMonth. Click OK to save the dataset.

10. Double click the TIMEYear parameter in the Paramaters folder of the Report Data window to edit the Report Parameter Properties. Select the Default Values option. Choose the ‘Get values from a query’ radio button.  In the dataset drop down choose the DefaultYearMonth dataset you created.  In the Value field dropdown select YearValue.

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11. Do the same as Step 10 for the TIMEMonthOfYear parameter.  Select DefaultYearMonth as the dataset, and MonthOfYearValue for the Value field.

When you preview your report, the parameters will now default to the current year and month.  Going forward the default for the parameter will roll over to whichever month is current.  Users appreciate not having to choose the current month every time they look at a report.

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