Report Builder 3.0 has an intuitive and familiar user interface which allows you to start creating reports quickly. This topic covers the options available on the Getting Started dialog.
To begin launch Report Builder from the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Report Builder 3.0 program group. By default the Getting Started dialog is displayed immediately after launching Report Builder:
Note: The Getting Started dialog is always displayed when you start Report Builder unless you click the "Don't show this dialog box at startup" checkbox in the bottom left corner of the dialog. If the Getting Started dialog isn't displayed on startup, you can go to the Report Builder Options and choose to display it on startup (we'll cover Report Builder Options later in this tutorial).
The Getting Started dialog is only displayed right after you launch Report Builder. After you make a selection from the Getting Started dialog or close it, you cannot get back to it. You can display the New Report or Dataset dialog which contains essentially the same options as the Getting Started dialog (we'll cover this dialog later in this section).
The Getting Started dialog provides the following options:
The New Report option allows you to choose a wizard or a blank report as your starting point. The wizards walk you through creating a report in a sequence of steps. The blank report allows you to handle all aspects of creating the report. For beginners the wizards are a great choice; experienced users may prefer the blank report.
A dataset defines the data that you want to render on your report. The New Dataset option allows you to create a shared dataset; i.e. a dataset that can be used in one or more reports. Shared datasets is a new feature in SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services. Alternatively you can define a dataset within a report (an embedded dataset) but it is a best practice to use shared datasets.
The Open option displays the familiar file open dialog allowing you to locate and open a report. Report files have an extension of .RDL (report definition language).
The Recent option allows you to choose a report to open from a list of recently used reports.