Oct 072013
 

I’ve seen this issue a lot lately.  There is a need to feed a comma delimited string of values into a multi-value parameter in an SSRS report.  There is a simple way to do this.

SET UP YOUR MAIN REPORT QUERY

Your main report query should be set up to expect a string of values in the parameter. For example:

SELECT Product_ID
      ,Item_No
      ,Item_Description
  FROM DIM_Product
  WHERE Item_No IN (@ITEM)
SET UP THE PARAMETER

The parameter should be set up as text, but NOT allow multiple values.

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You can set this up as you wish to meet your purpose, but for demonstration I will set up two groups of comma delimited strings as available values.

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I have set up a second data set to feed these default values to the parameter.

SELECT '11000B,2200,17000' AS ITEMNMBR
SET UP THE PARAMETER ON THE MAIN REPORT DATASET

Now comes the magic.  On the Dataset Properties for your main report dataset, on the Parameters tab, edit the expression for the Parameter Value.

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Write this in the parameter expression:  =split(Parameters!Item.Value,",")

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This will take the comma delimited string as input, split it into individual values and it will get used in the IN clause of the main query that we set up at the beginning of this post.

WHERE Item_No IN (@ITEM)

Viola, the report filters on a string of values.

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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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