SteveGray 8/16/2015 5:09:29 PM

SSRS - Making Changes to an Existing Report, Part 1

This article is the first of two parts, we cover making changes to an existing SSRS report.


Since you're reading an article on making changes to an existing SSRS report, we're going to assume limited experience writing SSRS reports. To be sure that we don't leave anyone behind, Part 1 will be a primer in how SSRS works. Part 2 will go into the actual edits. If you've already written some SSRS reports, you might skip Part 1

The first thing we'll look at his how reports are put together.

This is a simple report that looks at SOP invoice data. It is grouped by customer class, and then by customer. The detail is at the invoice line level - one row for each invoice line, so we see the items and the prices.


Open one of the stock Dynamics GP reports in Report Builder. If you've never done that before, follow this guide.

After you open the report, you'll see something like this. Note that the bottom area (the Row Groups area) shows 'details', and then two levels of grouping (Customer_Number and Cusomer_Class).

Click somewhere within the grid, and you'll get the frame that goes around the table area. The table area is sometimes called a 'matrix' or a 'tablix'. Note that the frame is on the left side and the top. This frame is similar to the column and row headers in Excel - the column headers in Excel have A, B, C, etc, and the row headers have 1, 2, and 3.

Note that the detail area is indicated in the row header with the '3 line' image, and the groups are indicated with braces. Our report here has one detail row and the groups have one header and footer row apiece, but the detail could possibly have 2 or more rows, and the groups can have more than one row... or they might not have a row at all.


Resizing Columns

 Move the mouse over the border of the column (or row) header to resize, just like in Excel.

 Textbox Properties

Just like Excel, you can format each of the cells individually by right clicking on the cell and choosing Text Box Properties, or you can edit the properties of an entire row or column by right clicking on the header and making the same choice.


General Tab

In the General tab you can name the text box, and specify it's value and tooltip. Note that Value and ToolTip have the 'Expression' icon, this means that not only can we set the value directly, as we have here, but we can assign an expression to that field. So, just as in Excel we can have '=3 * 2' for an expression, here we can have complex equations and formulas that make up the text that you see in the text box. We'll cover this more later. Same with the tooltip (that popup that you see when you hover over a field)

I will occasionally uncheck the 'allow height to increase' checkbox because some fields in Dynamics are very long (item description is over 100 characters) and sometimes the lines will expand because of the spaces at the end of the field.  


Number Tab

This tab allows us to format our field. If it's a date or time, we can specify how it is formatted. If it is numeric, we can specify the decimal places and the commas. You get the idea. Again, similar to Excel.


 Alignment Tab

Allows the alignment of the data in the cell


 Font tab

Allows the font of the cell to be changed (and style, color, and more)


 Border Tab

Allows the border of the cell to be changed. As in Excel, there is are always neighboring cells and you have to think about how they're formatted, too.


 Fill Tab

Allows you to change the background color of a cell. I usually do this for the entire row at a time.


 Visibility Tab

Allows you to show or hide a cell, or to CONDITIONALLY allow it to show. You might write an expressions that says 'show this field if the account is active, but hide it if inactive'. Get the idea?

I've never 'toggled the display' of a field, but it's very useful to do this for the GROUP. You can show or hide a group based on a toggle button. This is a more advanced concept, we'll cover it in a later tutorial. For now, it's enough that you know that it's possible


Interactive Sorting Tab

We'll save this for later

Action Tab

It is possible to make it so that when you click on a cell, you are navigated to another report, a section in this report, or to a completely different web site. These are too advanced for today... but imagine the possibilities!






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