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Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services [Paperback]

Brian Larson
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jan 2006 0072262397 978-0072262391 2
Microsoft's Reporting Services product is a vital part of the SQL Server 2005 business intelligence platform, but it works with virtually any data source. This hands-on guide explains how to transform data into insightful and interactive Web-based reports using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services. With coverage of everything from installation to administration, the book demonstrates how to use this powerful server-based reporting solution to improve business decision-making and facilitate company-wide -- even worldwide -- communication.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 767 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne; 2 edition (1 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072262397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072262391
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 752,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Generate and distribute comprehensive, integrated reports

Transform disparate corporate data into business intelligence with help from this hands-on guide. Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services explains how to create, manage, and deliver traditional and interactive reports with this powerful server-based reporting solution. Written by a member of the Reporting Services development team, the book covers the entire report-building and distribution process and offers complete details on all the product's integrated features. Improve business decision-making in your organization by getting the right information to the right people at the right time.


  • Install and set up SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services
  • Use the SELECT query to extract report data from your data sources
  • Add charts, images, and other graphics
  • Generate reports using the Report Wizard and from scratch
  • Maintain a secure, managed environment
  • Integrate reports with desktop and web applications
  • Enable end-user access to reports via the Report Server and its Report Manager web interface
  • Export reports to other presentation and data exchange rendering formats

About the Author

Brian Larson (Arden Hills, MN), MCSD, served as a member of the Reporting Services development team on a contract basis, and has contributed to the code base. He is the Chief of Technology (COT) for Superior Consulting Services (SCS) in the Twin Cities. SCS is a Microsoft Certified Partner and is currently developing a client solution that uses Microsoft Reporting Services for report production and distribution.

Brian has been invited to speak on Reporting Services at several conferences including SQL Server Magazine Connections (both in Vegas and Orlando), has been interviewed as a subject matter expert by Microsoft TechNet, .NET Rocks, and others and has written articles for SQL Server Magazine.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction 12 Sep 2006
This book provides an example lead course in designing reports so it gives a good overview of what is possible. Unfortunately this approach means you know what to do to repeat the examples but do not fully understand why. I am finding the book hard to use as a reference as the indexing focuses on finding the examples rather than the techniques.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An almost excellent book - good for beginners. 31 Oct 2007
This is a well structured book with many, easy to follow, practical exercises for people who are starting from scratch with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services. It covers all the basic reporting capabilities, the deployment and management of reports and the customising of Reporting Services. It also has three useful, interface reference appendices for Report Items, Web Servers and the Report Definition Language. A fourth appendix also deals with adhoc reporting.

On the downside, there is no indication of the differences between the 2005 and 2000 versions of Reporting Services, therefore this book should not be bought by users who are already experienced with the earlier version.

The biggest drawback is the accompanying database and code that has to be loaded from the publishers Web site. They appear to belong to an earlier version of the book. This means users have to subtract a couple of years from all dates used in the text and at least one report can't be built at all. This stops me awarding top marks to an otherwise excellent book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
As a BI technical developer, with previously very little understanding for reporting services, this book has enabled me to gain, in a very short period of time, a solid understanding of SSRS.

Brian Larson's book delivers clear technical overviews of real world, useful and practical examples. This book meets the needs of developers and users with varying skill levels in Reporting services; the book covers from basic to advanced topics in a gentle transition.

Look out for the "Task Notes" feature for simple yet detailed explanations of scenarios/assumptions following various example reports.

The only negative comment from me is the excessive and repetitive "Step-by-step" guide throughout the book. I suppose practical repetition is the key to learning!

Go on and gain SSRS skills now! This book will help!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional clarity and useful real world examples! 17 Jan 2006
By John M. Cunha - Published on
This book delivers a solid understanding of Reporting Services derived from working through genuinely useful, real world examples preceded by clear technical overviews.

I am a BI consultant always learning new software technologies and as part of this work, read many instructional s/w books. From this standpoint I can state that this book shows great attention to detail (all of the examples actually work). It also incorporates a very useful feature "Task Notes" that further explains the implicit assumptions and underlying factors following each example. This shows that a great deal of care was taken to ensure that the reader is always on the same page as the writer.

This book is rare in its clarity, technical editing and delivery of concrete skills in return for the effort spent with it. Just keep off my turf when you acquire your skills! (;^ )
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Detailed Tutorial For Those New To Reporting Services 7 July 2006
By Yannick Salgleda - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Many reviewers of this book have given it high marks because it is a terrific tutorial and that introduces most of the crucial techniques for writing great reports. I would agree as I have reporting experience with MS-Access and Crystal and this book helped me get up to speed quickly. If you like learning in a step-by-step fashion right out of a book - this is the book!

The bad reviews came from people that were looking for more of a reference type book. While this book is not a bad reference it does fall short as a reference book. For example, one reviewer brought up that the ability to shade alternating detail rows of a report does not appear to be easy to find in this book. I would agree with that. I was unable to go into the index and find a quick solution in this book.

If you want a better reference book try the WROX book, Professional SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services. That book is not as good as this book from a step-by-step standpoint but it is a better reference when you need a quick solutions. For example, page 272 has code on how to shade alternating rows - they call it Greenbar Reports. It was not easy to find in this book either. How many people would look up "Greenbar Reports" in the reference? I was looking into "shading alternative rows". I just happened to stumble upon it.

I bought both books together. Of course there is lots of overlap but between the two that is all you will need to become a pro at Reporting Services.

Reporting Services could use a COOKBOOK-style text like they have for Access and other programming languages. Those types of books have served me well over the years. Until then this book and the WROX book should do the trick!
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 10 May 2007
By S. Taylor - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
we have over a dozen SQL SERVER 2005 suite books in our office. The thing that makes this better then all the others, is that while some people like reading these books, and others like books as references only - this book seems to satisfy both groups of developers at my office.

The most used SSRS book at the office by a mile.
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen and the art of Reporting Services 23 Aug 2006
By Adnan Masood - Published on
SQL Server Reporting Services is a comprehensive, server-based reporting solution which provides support to develop, manage, and deliver reports on different mediums and platforms. Brian Larson in his latest book, "SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services" has done an excellent job in making the case for SQL Server Reporting Services (SRSS) by providing comprehensive knowledge to jump start with SQL server reporting services.

As Brian Welcker, Microsoft's group program manager of SSRS observes, the author has been working with Reporting services for a long time. Since he has been a part of development effort involved with reporting services, Brian Larson has a deep understanding of reporting services infrastructure which reflects in his writing. Being an MCDBA, author of "Delivering Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2005" and "Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services", Brian Larson has in-depth understanding of business intelligence solutions and real-world reporting scenarios.

"SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services" is hands on, no-nonsense, well organized step by step guide to SRSS. This 800 page book is divided into four parts and twelve chapters, in which author has provided wealth of information on all the pertaining topics. This book is illustrated and provides diagram and figures of every step defined during the process. The four main sections are "Putting the pieces in place", the beginning, "Report Authoring", about writing reports, "Report saving", about report publishing and management of reports and final part i.e. Appendices which has language references and some further guidelines. What I liked most about this book is its personal coordination and in-depth approach for instance not many reporting books discuss localization in detail and in a real-world scenario style in reports as you'll see it being done in Brian's book. Since it's written by one author, I found the reading to be much more consistent and harmonic across the book.

Following is the chapter summary for the reader to see that Brian has covered most of the required ground for issues one may encounter during report development.

Chapter 1: Let's Start at the Very Beginning

Chapter 2: Putting the Pieces in Place: Installing Reporting Services

Chapter 3: DB 101: Database Basics

Chapter 4: A Visit to Emerald City: The Report Wizard

Chapter 5: Removing the Train Wheels: Building Basic Reports

Chapter 6: Graphic Expression: Using Charts and Images in Reports

Chapter 7: Kicking It Up a Notch: Intermediate Reporting

Chapter 8: Beyond Wow: Advanced Reporting

Chapter 9: A Leading Exporter: Exporting Reports to Other Rendering Formats

Chapter 10: How Did We Ever Manage Without You? The Report Manager

Chapter 11: Delivering the Goods: Report Delivery

Chapter 12: Extending Outside the Box: Customizing Reporting Services

Appendix a: report item reference

Appendix b: web service interface reference

Appendix c: report definition language reference

Appendix d: ad hoc reporting

This book is an upgrade from previous reporting services book and is equally valuable for both the beginners and intermediate reporting services users.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best technical book I've read in ten years 28 Dec 2007
By Terry Hutt - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's sometimes hard to review a technical book without reviewing the technology the book discusses so I'll start by stating that Microsoft Reporting Services impressed me greatly but Microsoft's documentation is as bad as always. There's room for improvement but it's already better than Crystal Reports. Now on to the book review.

I am familiar with SQL Server and Crystal Reports so I was looking for a book that didn't spend too much time on stuff I already knew. This book spent the first three chapters discussing database basics so I skipped them.

I started reading the book in earnest at chapter four which discusses the report wizards. This is a quick way to throw reports together in Visual Studio and Brian Larson presents the information logically and clearly. It became quickly clear that I was reading an exceptional book. I'm guessing Brian had an experienced editor because the book is largely free of the gramatical errors that have been plaguing technical books recently. What impresses me even more is that all the examples worked flawlessly and were meaningful exercises that I will refer back to as I start to implement Reporting Services.

The book references a database you need to download from the Osborne website. The instructions to do so are very clear and I had no problems whatsoever downloading and installing it. The only problem I had was that the user id in the examples (GalacticReporting) does not have access to the stored procedures. You need to give GalRep the 'Reporting' role. Minor problem.

Brian, correctly, doesn't spend much time on the wizards and quickly gets into the meat of the application guiding the reader through successively more complex reporting scenarios. At first tasks are performed using point-and-click methods, then using quicker but more advanced methods. Finally Brian started taking shortcuts such as providing stored procedures. I saw Brian using this technique all through the book and I liked it.

The first real problem I encountered with the book in is chapter 10 in the section on deploying custom assemblies. This is an area that Reporting Services is very weak and I hope to see Microsoft improve in future releases. You have two options - alter the config file or deploy via the GAC. Brian only mentions the first option and very poorly. He doesn't mention the GAC at all whereas I think the GAC is the better option. But in the next section on security Brian is back to his old form and does a splendid job of explaining a subject I normally have a very hard time with.

The explanation of report caching, snapshots, and subscriptions is exceptionally good and does a great job of explaining these potentially confusing subjects. Again, his examples are well thought out and very simple to follow. As they occur after the section on security he points out what security tasks/roles are required to perform these function which was a great idea.

I wish Brian had spent a little more time explaining the logging mechanism in chapter 11. He refers the reader to the Microsoft documentation which is actually wrong. The book could have spent half a page explaining how to create and populate the logging database and implementing the sample reports. It would have saved me a lot of trouble.

The only other issue I have with the book is late in chapter 12 where Brian explains how to implement a custom, forms-based, security model. The example works well especially considering how complex it is, but I could not get the debugger to attach to the authentication dll even though I followed Brian's instructions to the letter. However, having Googled the problem it seems many, many people have problems attaching the Visual Studio debugger to already running threads so I suspect Bill should take some of the blame at least.

Overall Brian Larson should be very pleased with his work. It's well worth the money and he has done us all a great service. He should buy his editor a beer too.
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