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Listing 3.3 Using a query parameter to filter the query data
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SELECT ST.Name AS Territory, PC.ProductCategoryID, PC.Name AS ProductCategory,SUM(SOD.UnitPrice*SOD.OrderQty) AS Sales FROM SalesOrderDetail SOD INNER JOIN Product P ON SOD.ProductID = P.ProductID INNER JOIN SalesOrderHeader SOH ON SOD.SalesOrderID=SOH.SalesOrderID INNER JOIN SalesTerritory ST ON SOH.TerritoryID = ST.TerritoryID INNER JOIN ProductSubCategory PSC ON P.ProductSubCategoryID =
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PSC.ProductSubCategoryID INNER JOIN ProductCategory PC ON PSC.ProductCategoryID = PC.ProductCategoryID WHERE DATEPART(YY, SOH.OrderDate) = @Year GROUP BY ST.Name, PC.Name, PC.ProductCategoryID ORDER BY ST.Name, PC.Name
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In the listing, we are specifying a named report parameter called Year. Now run the query. When the Graphical Query Designer parses the query, it discovers the parameter and displays the Define Query Parameters dialog box, as shown in figure 3.17. Step 4 Enter 2003 and click OK. The query retrieves the sales orders placed in 2003. Once the Graphical Query Designer parses the parameter, it will add the parameter to the parameter list defined for this query, which can be seen on the Parameters tab of
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To set up a parameter-driven query, specify parameter placeholders.
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Figure 3.18 Use the Dataset dialog box s Parameters tab to see all parameters defined in the dataset query.
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the Dataset dialog box (figure 3.18). To view the dataset properties, select it in the Dataset drop-down list and click on the ellipsis button next to it. At this point, the parameter is associated with the dataset query. In addition, the Report Designer automatically creates a report-level parameter with the same name and links the query-level and report-level parameters together. The reason behind this behavior is that the Report Designer assumes that the parameter should be accessible from external callers.
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To pass the parameter value from outside the report for example, from client applications you need to create a report-level parameter.
Let s now see how we can work with report-level parameters. 3.4.3 Setting up the report-level parameters To allow end users to set the value of the query parameter, you need to create a reportlevel parameter and associate it with the query-level parameter. If you want to see all report-level parameters defined for a given report, select the Report Parameters submenu item from the VS.NET Report menu. The Report menu is available only in Data or Layout mode (when the Data or Layout Report Designer tabs are active). Figure 3.19 shows the Report Parameters dialog box for the Sales by Territory Interactive report. As we said earlier, by default the Graphical Query Designer will assume that the report parameter will be publicly accessible and pairs each query-level parameter with
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Use the Report Parameters dialog box to set up the report parameters.
a report-level parameter. However, you can manually add or remove report-level parameters if needed. One scenario that calls for adding parameters manually is when you need more parameters than the report query(s) takes. For example, you may need a parameter to pass some value that is used in an expression. Why would you want to remove a report-level parameter This can be useful if you don t want the users to pass values to it. For example, the query parameter may be derived internally using an expression and it may not make sense to expose it to the end user. Parameters don t have a Visibility property you can set to hide them. Instead, you achieve the same effect by removing them from the Report Parameters dialog box.
NOTE
When you remove a query parameter, the Report Designer doesn t assume that you want to remove the report parameter as well. It leaves the report parameter in the report, which may result in an orphaned publicly accessible parameter. To fix this, open the Report Parameters dialog box and remove the parameter.
PARAMETER-DRIVEN REPORTS
Using the Prompt field The Prompt field allows you to specify a parameter label that will appear on the standard report toolbar. Enter Year: for the Year prompt. Leaving the prompt field empty results in a read-only parameter that will not show in the standard report toolbar when the report is requested by URL. Moreover, trying to set the parameter explicitly when requesting the report either by URL or SOAP will result in an error. A read-only parameter must have a default value associated with it. Read-only parameters can be useful for reports that require fixed parameter values. For example, you may have a Sales by Quarter report that shows the data for a given quarter that is passed as a parameter value. Let s say that at some point you want to prevent users from running this report for an arbitrary quarter. Instead, you decide to default the parameter value to the current quarter. One way to hide the parameter is to remove it from the report-level parameters. Another option to hide the parameter temporarily is to make it read-only by removing the parameter prompt. Specifying the parameter data type The Data type drop-down list restricts the available choices to Boolean, DateTime, Integer, Float, and String. If you wonder why there are no other types available, recall the fact that RS runs in its own isolated process. This requires all parameter values to be serialized between the report consumer and the Report Server. For this reason, the choice of the parameter data types is restricted only to .NET primitive types that can be passed by value. Note that the Report Server automatically casts the parameter values to the data type you specify. For this reason, you can use the methods of the .NET data type structure to retrieve or set the parameter value. For example, if you set the parameter type to DateTime, you can use the DateTime.Year property to get to the year because the values of date type in .NET are represented by the DateTime structure. We will see more expression examples in chapter 5. Passing default values The Allow null value option in the Report Parameters dialog box indicates if NULL can be passed as a report value. If a default parameter value is not specified, clearing the check box in effect makes the parameter required. The Allow blank value option is available only for the String data type and means that an empty string can be passed as a report value. Let s go back to the Sales by Territory Interactive report and change the data type of the Year parameter to Integer. Finally, to make the parameter required, make sure that the Allow null value check box is cleared. Now, let s preview the report (figure 3.20). The report toolbar changes to accommodate the Year parameter. Note that if you leave the year field empty, the report is not generated because the year is a required parameter. 94 WORKING WITH DATA
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