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In SQL Server 2008 Essential Training, Simon Allardice explores all the major features of SQL Server 2008 R2, beginning with core concepts: installing, planning, and building a first database. Explore how Transact-SQL is used to retrieve, update, and insert information, and gain insight into how to effectively administer databases. The course also covers features outside SQL Server's database engine, including technologies that have grown up around it: SQL Server Reporting Services and Integration Services. Exercise files are included with the course.
Next up, I'm going to change my report to add a little bit more interesting graphical information. I am going to click the drop-down and select Edit in Report Builder. And what I'd like to do is have the report show up with some kind of visible graphical information about whether the number that we are showing is good, bad, or indifferent. Are these people either a good customer, a great customer, or a poor customer? There is a few ways I could do that. I might decide that I want to show the name up in bold.
I might decide I want to show the TotalDue in red or green or orange but here's what I'm going to do. I am going to add a new column to this report. I am going to select in that cell and occasionally you'd be a little bit careful about selecting it. Sometimes you have to experiment a little bit. I've got the cell selected and I am going to right-click and I'm going to insert a column to the right, which gives me this, a new cell to do something with. But what? Here is what. Up on the Insert tab of the ribbon, there are several graphical elements that we can add to this report.
The one I'm going to pick is one of the simplest ones, but it's a great one to get started with. It's the Indicator. When I select that, it doesn't actually add anything to the report but it will change my cursor to this little red graphic. And what I'm then going to do is just click in the cell that I want this indicator to be in. Click once and it's going to say, okay what kind of indicator do you want? And it offers me various choices. We have got Ratings. We have got a series of symbols for red, amber and green.
I am going to select this one here and click OK. The question is what is this an indicator for? Well, that's up to you. You get to say what data this is hooked up to. It might be something like the total amount of an invoice. It might be an outstanding amount of bucks, anything that can be numerically evaluated. Right now, it doesn't know what it's supposed to represent. So, if I were to run this, I'm going to see nothing.
But going back to Design, what I will do is I will select that indicator. Again, sometimes, it's a little difficult to grab hold off, but when I have got it selected, it will pop-up a little panel. I am going to drag to the right so I can see that. It says okay how do I show information? It needs to be faded with a value. And this lowest drop-down box says, where do I get it from? Well, it's not from FirstName, LastName or CompanyName. It's going to be getting its value from TotalDue. It's not going to be showing the number.
It's going to be to be showing a graphic that represents that. I am not going to run it again. And very interestingly what we are getting is indicators here. We are getting the green checkmarks here, we are getting the yellow exclamation marks, and we're getting the red crosses, which don't look good at all. So what's actually happening? Well, by default, what it's doing is evaluating what it shows based on the TotalDue and it does it on a range.
The lowest third numerically will show up in red, the middle third will show up in yellow, the top third will show up in green. That might be what we want. That might not. We can change that. Selecting back to this indicator, I can click the little Properties panel and what it says is first give it a Name. Is there a ToolTip? But in Value and States, it's saying here's where I get my value from, and I am measuring it in a percentage of the range available. Now I want to say no. Maybe I don't want that.
Maybe I just want to have a flat range, that if it's above 50,000, it's really good. If it's below 20,000, it's bad but anywhere in the middle, it'll show up in the yellow icon. So I am going to switch that to Numeric. I am going to say red is from 0 through 10,000. Yellow is from 10,001 to 50,000 and green should show up from 50,001 to a million.
Click OK. Now we will run this again and I have got my own defined rules going on. It's actually fairly similar but I know now that this range, for example, is being controlled by me. Below 50, we get the yellow exclamation mark. Above 50, we are getting the green checkmark. In other places you might hear these referred to as Status Indicators or even KPIs, Key Performance Indicators, in places like PerformancePoint and SharePoint. Now of course, in our example, we're ordering by TotalDue descending anyway.
So it's quite visible information, but if you're mixing a lot of these up and you have got massive amount of data, just these checkmarks and these status indicators can make it very easy to scan a report and see where something is going wrong. So when I am finished, I simply save that back up to the server and close Report Builder.
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