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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.
Think about a gauge in real life, a fuel gauge on your car, a battery gauge on a cell phone. A gauge does represent a value, but you don't actually care what that value explicitly is; you care about its proportion. Am I full, am I half full, am I nearly empty? So I'm going to add a gauge to this table here. First, I'll add a new column to put the gauge in. So selecting anywhere in the table, grab the grab handle for this particular column, right-click it, and insert one to the right. I'll drag it a little wider because I want a bit more space.
I'm going to add a gauge into this particular cell because I want it per row for the information that I'm getting about the territories. It's added just like sparklines and data bars and indicators. I go over to the Insert section, select Gauge, click it once, and then come over here and just single-click in the cell. And we have a variety of gauges appear just like we'd have a variety of sparklines or a variety of charts. Several fuel style gauges, linear gauges, thermometer-style gauges, and so on.
Because I'm inserting this gauge into a table, I'm going to go left to right rather than up and down. So, I'm going to select the very last option, which is called Bullet Graph here, and click OK. Now, it's a little squished here, and you will find that gauges in Reporting Services really do expect a bit more room than, say, just a simple indicator or a value. So, I'm going to drag the column a little bit wider, just so we can see more of it here. And what I'm going to make this gauge represent is, say, a $10 million bonus contest, where the sales year to date is going to push this pointer up and down somewhere in the scale.
Now, just like working with indicators, the gauge is only going to display one value, and that's going to be represented by what's called the pointer here. But the same way that an indicator displays one value but it has to be told whether that's good or bad, the pointer displays one value but needs to be told where on the scale that goes. Well, the first thing we do is configure the pointer. When you're working with gauges, you have to be very careful what you have clicked, because as I click around, I can get the Linear Gauge option here I see on the Properties window.
If I click somewhere else in it, I can get a linear range. I can get a linear scale. I can get a LinearRange1. I can get the pointer again. So, it can be difficult to actually find what you're looking for. Right now I want the pointer. So I'm clicking in here until I see this LinearPointer show up, and I can see the highlight around it. What I'm looking for is to be able to right-click it and see Pointer Properties. This is where I can set the value of the pointer. What should this be fueled by? And I'm just going to connect it to Sales Year To Date and click OK.
If I close my Properties panel here, you'll see that I also have Gauge Data popping up on the right-hand side the same as with an indicator or a chart. You can also drag and drop there. Well, is this enough? Let's find out. I'll go ahead and click Run. I'm getting the gauge show up, but the problem is it's pushing out to 100% for every single one of them, because the number I'm giving it is just a little bit too big for the scale, which is oriented to 0 through 100%. So, back into Design view, because I need to change something else.
The pointer is fine. I need to change the scale. So I click around till I find the Scale area. It's sometimes helpful to have your Properties window open so you can see this linear scale. Another clue is by right-clicking. What I had a moment ago was Pointer Properties, what I want to see now is Scale Properties. Select that, and we have several options here. The main thing we're interested in to make it show up correctly is, what are our minimum and maximum ranges, and they are defaulted to 0 through 100. Well, that's not what we want, because we're giving it a value that could be 10 million.
And in fact, 10 million is the max. That's what we're going for is that 10 million bonus. So, I'm actually going to just type directly in the number 10 million and click OK. We'll run this again, and actually, we have the pointer correct now. The problem is, the labels look absolutely terrible. So, back to the drawing board, into Design view. Click Scale again. We're clicking around a little bit till we find it. I want the Scale properties. Our Minimum and Maximum are fine. I do have the options in the Labels section to actually just turn them off.
If I select the labels of their properties, I can say Hide scale labels, and they just disappear, and that might be fine. Without the labels, I could close that row up a little bit so it isn't as big as it was before. But another option that I have is just changing the format of what the labels show. So, I'm going to come down to the Number section and say that this label should show up as a number. And one of the options I have here is to check the Show values in and say Millions. We take it to Millions, but even as I'm clicking around, I can see it's doing 4.00, 6.00.
I really don't need the decimal places, so I'll get rid of those. And now the tick marks represent how far we are up on a $10 million scale. There are other options here, such as getting rid of the minor tick marks or the major tick marks. With this being a little cleaner, I can shrink that column just a bit more, and we'll go ahead and run it. Now, we can tell at a glance who is up at the top of the scale and who is nowhere near that top. So, experiment with the other options. Be careful when you're working with gauges, that you have the right thing selected at the right time.
This is how you provide indicators and gauges on your reports.
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