Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (Professional Experience Distilled) Paperback – 18 Mar 2014
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About the Author
James Serra is an independent consultant with the title Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence Architect. He is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP with over 25 years of IT experience. He started his career as a software developer, then was a DBA for 12 years, and for the last seven years, he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack. At different times, he has been a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences, along with continuous learning, have helped him to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. He is a noted blogger and speaker, having presented at the PASS Summit and the PASS Business Analytics conference. His blog is at JamesSerra.com. He has earned the MSCE: SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence, MSCE: SQL Server 2012 Data Platform, MCITP: SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence Developer, MCITP: SQL Server 2008 Database Administrator, and MCITP: SQL Server 2008 Database. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from UNLV. James resides in Houston, TX, with his wife Mary and three children: Lauren, RaeAnn, and James.
Bill Anton is an independent consultant whose primary focus is on designing and developing data warehouses and Business Intelligence solutions using the Microsoft BI stack. He has over 10 years of experience in the industry, and enjoys working closely with clients to overcome their datarelated challenges. Bill is also an active member in the SQL Server community and enjoys sharing knowledge and helping others. When he's not working with the clients, he can usually be found answering questions on the MSDN forums, attending SQL PASS meetings, or writing blog posts at http://byoBI.com.
Top Customer Reviews
It starts with a great introduction to SSRS Reports and the different options you have available, there are also useful scenarios to help you understand its capabilities together with SharePoint integration.
My favourite chapter has to be "Chapter 4: Power Views", these self-service reports are awesome and they look great!
I can see these having a massive impact and will certainly be one of our best received implementations.
The book has some very good examples and these can easily be followed to help create your own reports. The discussion on what to use in different scenarios is very helpful when trying to apply these examples to real world reporting problems.
If you have never used reporting services before some of the detail about data connections may throw you and if you don’t have a competent SharePoint administrator to hand there may not be enough detail to help you set up your SharePoint integrations correctly.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I am on page 30 and they are covering the report parameters window. For space filler they actually cover what each field in the window is and I quote "The area numbered 1 is Name." Are you f***ing kidding me!!!! The label next to the textfield tells me that. I know, you're saying "You're only on page 30, Mike, give the book a chance." Well, it isn't a book, it's a pamphlet. And the pamphlet is only 117 pages. I did look ahead though. Halfway through the pamphlet you get to create a datasource. If you have wrestled with creating a datasource in a Microsoft application you should consider another line of work. I don't mean knowing or getting the right values/parameters/properties set, I mean if you know the settings and still can't do it. That's what this craptastic pamphlet covers.
I think most everyone who has the SLIGHTEST bit of experience would find this book nearly useless. I wouldn't be surprised if I searched on some of the text and it showed up on Microsoft's website. To this point there is no useful information, scanning ahead looks pretty bleak too. I have given it 2-stars because I'm not done with it yet and there are some trivial exercises. A 2-star rating is about as optimistic as I can be. I'll be back to finish my review. It should only be a couple of more hours if I don't get bored.
Since 2004 many SSRS books have been written, most of them either too simplistic to be of any use to anyone other a raw beginner or too abstruse for anyone who isn't already an expert to understand. Microsoft's Technet often falls into the latter category.
Because of my experience (and because I have written much training material myself) my approach to any new SQL Server related book tends to be a bit jaundiced. Here is what I found when I read Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012:
I like the style. It's easy to read and it assumes that the reader is intelligent but not yet expert in the subject matter. The language is plain English (I'll have to forgive the fact that it's American English rather than British English) with clear explanations of both theory and practice.
Accuracy is good. I haven't yet spotted any howlers, and although I disagree with the author on one or two points, it's mainly a matter of opinion rather than fact.
Some specific points:
The Reporting Scenarios starting on page 10 are excellent! Unfortunately they do rather emphasise the mess that Microsoft has made of SSRS's placement in the market. Users are confused by the decisions they need to make as to which elements product (some of which are only available to Enterprise SQL Server and/or Enterprise SharePoint). Confusion is a really good way to drive customers away to competing (generally inferior) products.
Somewhere around page 20 I would have commented that the Query Designer is quite aggressive (it eats your code if you errors rather than helping you to rectify the errors) and I would have explicitly stated that most people who code SSRS queries use Management Studio if they have the appropriate permissions.
The warning on page 36 regarding the issues around scheduling and credentials cries out for a worked example. This is a topic that many of my students struggle with until they see a practical example.
The paragraphs on Report Snapshots are particularly clear, and I like the note hinting that you might like to leave this to the IT department.
Although data security is only covered at a high level, the description contains enough detail without being deadly dull. I do worry slightly about the references to TechNet articles, as per my previous comment.
Regarding PowerView and Reporting Services Integrated Mode with SharePoint 2013, I haven't seen any note warning users that these can't be used with SharePoint 2013 Online.
Notwithstanding my previous comment, the PowerView section is excellent. The book is worth buying just for this. I heartily recommend this book! Here is a link to the publishers site: [...]