SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 R2 (SSRS) - 5 Cool New Features

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Published: 26th November 2010
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Microsoft's SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 R2 is more than just a new release of existing software; it's a completely new version. Why Microsoft chose not to dignify it with a new version number - 2010, perhaps? - is a mystery to this author.



There are lots of cool new features in SSRS 2008 R2 - this article lists 5 of them, to whet your appetite.



GAUGES



These can be linear or radial. A linear gauge is basically a sliding pointer, and a radial one looks a bit like the speedometer on a old-fashioned car. You can configure these to the nth degree: you can even specify that the border of the pointer should be a particular colour!



INDICATORS



These are actually a specific example of the more general gauges. They work in a similar way to conditional formatting in Excel: you can ask to display traffic lights, stars, boxes, etc. For each symbol you can choose from almost any colour.



BETTER CHARTS



Charts are hugely improved over previous versions of SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services). The main benefit is that you can now right-click on part of a chart and format it directly. There are lots of new types of chart, and the charts themselves look much more attractive.



GROUPING PANE



You can now group rows and columns in tables and matrices through a single place - the grouping pane. It's not that easy to use compared with previous versions, but full credit to Microsoft for recognising that there was a problem and trying to solve it.



REPORT PARTS



You can take part of your report (a table and title, say), and publish this as a report part. This can then be incorporated into any other report. The only annoying aspect of this feature is that it only works in Report Builder 3.0, meaning that although you can publish report parts from within Visual Studio, you can't reuse them there.

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