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Customizing report parameters SQL Server

Setting parameters in your SQL Server lets you define and share datasets by pulling out the specific… Show More

SQL Server Reporting Services in Depth

with Simon Allardice

Video: Customizing report parameters SQL Server

Setting parameters in your SQL Server lets you define and share datasets by pulling out the specific data needed, helping you create a meaningful report. This can make the experience of using the Report Builder a much more user-friendly experience. Learn how to customize report parameters in this online video.
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  1. 12m 6s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. What you need to know
      1m 36s
    3. Exploring SQL Server Reporting Services components
      4m 17s
    4. Reviewing SQL Server versions
      5m 4s
  2. 49m 41s
    1. The elements of a report
      3m 10s
    2. Creating a report with Report Builder
      12m 11s
    3. Grouping table regions on a report
      6m 1s
    4. Joining data from multiple tables
      4m 33s
    5. Formatting report elements
      4m 34s
    6. Using functions in a report
      11m 0s
    7. Displaying data in a matrix
      8m 12s
  3. 24m 9s
    1. Filtering data and adding parameters to a report
      5m 35s
    2. Customizing report parameters
      5m 4s
    3. Sorting data in a data region
      4m 7s
    4. Applying interactive sorting
      4m 57s
    5. Creating a drillthrough action to connect reports
      4m 26s
  4. 49m 57s
    1. Introduction to charting in Reporting Services
      4m 16s
    2. Creating a column chart
      8m 35s
    3. Adding a generated average to a chart
      4m 5s
    4. Creating a pie chart
      8m 19s
    5. Using sparklines
      6m 38s
    6. Adding a sparkline to a drilldown matrix
      14m 34s
    7. Adding data bars
      3m 30s
  5. 21m 48s
    1. Adding indicators to a report
      7m 52s
    2. Using and configuring gauges
      5m 30s
    3. Using maps in Reporting Services
      8m 26s
  6. 38m 14s
    1. Creating modular reports with report parts
      4m 36s
    2. Adding and updating report parts
      4m 37s
    3. Using subreports and nested regions
      4m 28s
    4. Configuring headers and footers
      3m 9s
    5. Printing and exporting reports
      3m 45s
    6. Using page breaks
      5m 37s
    7. Creating and using shared data sources
      8m 11s
    8. Creating and using shared data sets
      3m 51s
  7. 27m 20s
    1. Organizing reports in Report Manager
      3m 1s
    2. Adding users and configuring report security
      5m 24s
    3. Configuring subscriptions
      5m 13s
    4. Creating a linked report
      4m 8s
    5. Using Report Designer in SQL Server Data Tools
      9m 34s
  8. 1m 2s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 2s

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Customizing report parameters
Video Duration: 5m 4s 3h 44m Advanced


Setting parameters in your SQL Server lets you define and share datasets by pulling out the specific data needed, helping you create a meaningful report. This can make the experience of using the Report Builder a much more user-friendly experience. Learn how to customize report parameters in this online video.

View Course Description

Discover how to create, manage, and deliver interactive reports—not just to print, but to dynamically explore enterprise-level data—with Reporting Services in SQL Server. In this course, author Simon Allardice concentrates on using Report Builder to build and format reports from a variety of data sources, but also shows how to perform basic administration tasks such as granting user access and organizing reports in the Report Manager. Plus, learn how to add interactive sorting and filtering functionality to your reports, and create column and pie charts to better express your data.

Note: These tutorials are applicable to both the 2008 and 2012 versions of SQL Server.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the elements of a report
  • Grouping table regions
  • Joining data from multiple tables
  • Displaying data in a matrix
  • Customizing report parameters
  • Filtering and sorting data
  • Creating charts
  • Adding sparklines and data bars
  • Creating at-a-glance reports with indicators
  • Using Maps in Reporting Services
  • Configuring report security
  • Printing and exporting reports
Developer IT
SQL Server

Customizing report parameters

When you start to add parameters to your report you can actually have multiple parameters and they will all show up in this parameter area at the top. But most of the time you want something more than just an open text box to type into, and we can change the appearance of this based on the parameter definition in our Report Builder. Now, if you added the parameter through the Query Designer, it will automatically show up in that section, but you can also create your own parameters. I can see here that if I right-click on the folder we can actually choose to add a new parameter, give it a name, set its values.

But I don't need to do that right now. Either way, when I have a parameter, I can actually double-click it in the Report Data section and I'll open up the Property pages for this parameter. For example, it's telling me this is ProductCategoryID. It's a data type of an integer. I have options here to change it to a Date/Time. If I changed it to that, we'd see it show up as a date picker in that top section of the report. If I selected Boolean, it would show up as a checkbox in that top section. But it actually is an integer. It is a numeric value. I just don't want to look at that.

And I have other options for what actually shows up. In the Available Values section here, we've currently set it to None, which means we don't provide any values; the actual user must type them directly in. I can choose to manually specify them and create different values for both the label--meaning what the user will actually--see and the value--what will actually be represented behind the scenes. What's even better is this option, that I could get values from a query. I could create another query and get all the category names and all the category IDs from a different part of the database.

In fact, that's what I'm going to do. I don't have that data set right now, so what I am first going to do is cancel out of this and add a new dataset to this report. So I'll right-click my Dataset folder/ Add Dataset, and I want to create a new one called CategoryNamesAndNumbers. It will be embedded in the report. I can just use the same data source I already have defined. We are talking to the same database. That's just fine. Then I jump into the Query Designer. And all I need to do here is drop down into my ProductCategory table, which is right here, and all I am interested in is the number of the ProductCategoryID and the name.

That's pretty much it. To test this I can run the query, and yup, that looks about right. Click OK, click OK. That dataset is now defined, and I can use it in my parameter. So back into the parameter definition, double-click on this guy. I am going to jump over into the Available Values section and tell it to get its values from a query. It asks which dataset. Well, the one we just created, the CategoryNamesAndNumbers. And then I simply have two choices. What are the actual values you're interested in? What am I going to feed to the product table so I can filter that data? Well, that actually needs to be the number, the ProductCategoryID number.

But being more friendly to the end user, what the user sees can be the name of this category. I'm not going to go ahead and change the default values. If I clicked here, it says specify values as 35. That's because I defined in the dataset. That's fine. I will just leave it alone. In the Advanced section are some options for, do I always refresh automatically when this value is changed? I'm going to leave all of that as is and just click OK. It doesn't look any different here. Well, that's not surprising. I can just go ahead and click Run to preview this, and what I have up at the top has completely changed. We no longer have a text field to type into.

We have a dropdown list with all the friendly names of the categories here. So I can select Jerseys, click View Report to refresh that data, and see the Jerseys here. I can come down and click Mountain Bikes and either click the button to View Report or press Enter to refresh that data again. It looks like what I could do with now is starting to apply a little bit of formatting here: Product ID doesn't need to be as wide, Name could be a bit wider, and List Price should be formatted as Currency. Again, doing that kind of thing is pretty easy stuff.

When you're resizing columns, it's best to grab the gray bar at the top. If I want to change this Sum(List Price), then what I do is actually click on the text itself until it's highlighted. I can see now here the Number formatting section is showing up. Change that to Currency and run it, and that's a bit more presentable. If you want to provide parameters in your report but not always show them to the end user, that is possible to do as well. Jumping back into Design view and editing that parameter, I will see that on the first page there are some options for whether this parameter is always visible or whether it's hidden or internal.

One of the reasons you might want to do this is that you as a report designer may occasionally want to change the default value of this or the parameter of this every week or every month, but you don't want to give that option to every single user, every single person who views that report. And there are even ways to make these parameters conditionally appear depending on who's looking at it or on other data on the page. But this is how we begin to parameterize our reports.

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