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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.
So I've created a lot of reports and the Report Manager website is becoming a mess. These need to be organized. The fundamental method of organizing reports is like organizing any other document. You create folders--when that's not good enough, subfolders. We've already done this a couple of times in the course. You just create a new folder directly from the Bar and Report Manager and call it whatever you want. However, it is worth thinking about your best top-level structure. There are no official recommendations as it's so dependent on your organization.
You might create folders to strictly organize your reports by departments, so have a Sales folder, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Accounts. Or you might go by purpose. You might create one folder for financial reports, another for inventory, another for personnel. It's whatever makes the most sense. You might even create a Work In Progress folder for your own experiments. However, I would say that the most common structure I see is loosely based on departments, and there is a good reason for that. Folders aren't just for organization.
They will make your life a lot easier with security. As we'll see in a moment, once should have gathered reports in a folder, you can restrict access to that folder to only certain people. And if your current security structure in your network is already based on well-defined departments, it will be a lot easier to map that security to your reports if you're using a similar structure. You can drill down into any individual folder, like the one I just created here, and create new subfolders inside it. There is no limit to this; it's just whatever you find helpful.
As you start to drill down, what you'll find is the breadcrumb up at the top will allow you to step up one level and then another level, in my case, all the way to the homepage. Once you've created a couple of these folders, you can start moving the reports around. There is a Move option you'll find on the dropdown menu for every report. You'll also find it in Manage. It lets you quickly scan the folder structure and drop it into the folder that you want. You can also use the dropdown menu to rename the report if you need to do that. Now, there are few different ways of naming them.
You can use of spaces if you have multiple words. What's also common is you'll see underscores used instead of spaces. This can be helpful, particularly if you're using many subreports. Most of the time spaces will work just fine, but from force of habit, I tend to either use underscores or no spaces at all and just use camel casing to name them. In the same section, you'll find another copy of the Move option that will allow you to move that report around. And one thing that's very useful is to be able to give your reports a description.
When you have a lot of reports, giving them good descriptions is one of the best things you can possibly do for your users, because it not only helps you scan the reports that you do have--after you've applied your changes, you will see it in the list of reports-- but you can also use those words in the search box to find it. And when you start having reports in folders and subfolders and more subfolders, this is often the quickest way to find the one you're looking for.
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