Monday, July 21, 2008

Where is my Data Tab?

I’ve recently had the pleasure of diving into Reporting Services 2008 RC0, and I’m amazed at the difference in the design environment from SSRS 2000/2005! To give a comparison of the designer, I took a look at the BIDS Reporting Services project. Overall, I think this version is more slick and more user-friendly (once I find everything again :) ) than its predecessor.

To begin, there is no longer a Data tab in the main frame of the design environment. You can find your DataSets and Fields on the “Report Data” window on the left side of your designer. If you lose your Report Data window, click the View menu > Report Data, or just select Ctrl-Alt-D. Also joining the new Report Data family are Report Parameters, originally found on the Report menu, and Fields, originally on its own window.

A look at the new RS would be remiss without mentioning the new Tablix control. From the toolbox, you still select a Table, Matrix, or List control, but these are templates for the Tablix control that provide you with the expected layout. As soon as that control has landed on your Design window, the properties and group menus look the same. In fact, the menu option to view properties is labeled “Tablix Properties…”. It is easy to see how the rows and columns are utilized from the icons displayed to the left or top of the textboxes.

Instead of Groups being included in the properties window of each control, they are now displayed on the report itself. This option can be toggled by right-clicking on the report and selecting View > Grouping. By selecting the desired control in your design window, you can immediately see the groups for that control.

All of the property windows have been overhauled. Is it just me, or do the new property windows remind you of the Dundas Controls property windows?

I’ll be posting more thoughts and trials on Reporting Services 2008 as I dig deeper into the new system!

Version: SQL Server 2008 RC0


Anonymous said...

I see that you can use the Report Data window to make new data tabs but I don't see that it's better. I lost the "intellisense" colors that it was giving my MDX in the BIDS 2005. It's 100 times harder to do MDX now. What a bummer. :-(

Jessica M. Moss said...

Hi there,

I like the data tab because I can find every piece of information that I want to bring into my report in one place. The error color coding for MDX is going to be part of a different component, the MDX Query Builder. I typically write my MDX queries in SSMS and just paste them into the designer, so it hasn't affected me that much. If it's something that you feel is important, I recommend you file a change request at Microsoft's Connect site.


Tushar Jog said...


DanielB said...

Thanks! Was looking for this...

Anonymous said...

Jessica, thanks for this tidbit (Ctrl + Alt + D)....lifesaver.

I have wasted an embarrassing amount of time trying to get it back.

Cheers, Andy