Building a Report from Scratch
By: Ray Barley
In the previous section we created three sample reports using the wizards which guide us step-by-step through creating a report. This is a great way to start out but you may want to have more control when designing your report. This section covers building a report from scratch and contains the following topics:
- Report Header
- Report Footer
- Report Body
We can think of a report as having three distinct areas: Header, Footer and Body. The Header is the top part of the report and it typically has a report title, page number, and so on. The Footer is the bottom area of the report; it may have some text about the contents being confidential, a page number and so on. The Body of the report is where we place our report content.
The topics in the section will be focused on selected items located on the Insert tab on the Report Builder ribbon:
When we built our sample reports using the wizards, we didn't need to drag and drop items from the Insert tab onto the report body; we started the wizard from the Getting Started dialog or the New Report or Dataset dialog. In this section we'll select items from the Insert tab, position them on the report body, then set their properties. Note that there is a glyph underneath some of the items on the Insert tab. When you click the glyph you will get a popup menu with options to launch the wizard for the item or insert the item onto the report. Even though we're building reports from scratch, you can still take advantage of the wizards that we used in the previous section if you like. Since we've already gone through the wizards, we won't repeat using them in this section. Instead our focus will be building a report from scratch without using the wizards.
The first step in building a report from scratch is to select Blank Report from either the Getting Started dialog or the New Report or Dataset dialog.
After building a report from scratch, take a look at the tips below to expand your capabilities in developing reports:
- Getting Started with Data Bars in SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services
- Getting Started with Maps in SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services
- Getting Started with Sparklines in SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services
- Getting Started with Report Parts in SQL Server Report Builder 3.0