Authoring Reports in .NET

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Examine a report model 1. Review the layout of the Report Model Designer. Your screen looks like this:
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Notice there is one entity per table included in the DSV. The default name of the entity is the name of the table. If the table name includes a capitalized letter in any position after the first left, a space is inserted before that letter. Additionally, any underscore is converted to a space. Therefore, a table name like Dim_Product or DimProduct would result in an entity named Dim Product. Often, the table names used in a database must conform to certain naming conventions that are not necessarily user-friendly. You can edit the default names assigned by the Report Model Wizard to a more suitable name, which you ll do later in this chapter. 2. Click the Dim Product entity in the Report Model Tree View.
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Here you can see that each attribute is preceded by a symbol indicating its data type. Attributes with a string data type, such as Color or Model Name, are indicated by an icon depicting the letter a. Decimal, float, and integer data types are indicated by an icon depicting the symbol #, as you can see for attributes such as Standard Cost and Safety Stock Level. Attributes with a data type of date, such as Slowly Changing Dimensions (SCD) Start Date, have a calendar icon, while a check box icon is used to identify the Boolean data type for attributes such as Finished Goods Flag. Toward the bottom of the list in the Detail View of the report model is an item named Fact Reseller Sales. Note that this item is not an attribute, but a role. As a role, this item represents the relationship defined in the DSV between the DimProduct and FactResellerSales tables. The Fact Reseller Sales role is indicated by a multilayer icon, which lets you know there is a one-to-many relationship between the two tables. One-to-one relationships are identified with a single-layer icon. 3. Click the Fact Reseller Sale entity in the Report Model Tree View, and then expand the Unit Price attribute.
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For each numeric attribute, the Report Model Wizard creates Total, Avg, Min, and Max numeric aggregations. These aggregate attributes provide an easy way for users to include aggregate functions in their reports. 4. Click the Unit Price attribute in the Detail View, and then, in the Properties window, find the DefaultAggregateAttribute property. The Properties window looks like this:
This property determines which aggregate a Report Builder user will see first when browsing the attributes in the Fact Reseller Sale entity. In this case, Report Builder users can expand Total Unit Sales to see the associated aggregate attributes: Avg Unit Sales, Min Unit Sales, Max Unit Sales, and Unit Sales. 5. Click the Dim Time entity in the Tree View, and then expand the Full Date Alternate Key attribute.
8:
Building Report Models
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For date attributes such as this, the Report Model Wizard creates year, quarter, month, and day variations, as well as a first and last aggregation. Report Builder users can choose to use any one of these attributes in a report. The Full Date Alternate Key attribute represents a date value, but this would not be obvious to a user who wants to include a date in a report. In this case, you should rename the attribute so it is clearer to users what the attribute represents. You ll perform this task later in this chapter.
Modifying a Report Model
You can use the Model Designer in Visual Studio to edit a report model that is based on a SQL Server data source, whether you use the Model Designer or SQL Server Management Studio to generate the report model. You will likely want to rearrange objects to simplify navigation, modify object properties to change default behavior, and add new objects to extend the range of information that users can include in reports. You should plan to go through several cycles of fine-tuning your report model as users get more experience working with Report Builder and are able to provide more specific feedback about desired report model improvements. Before releasing a report model to production, you should review the report model and consider whether any structural changes are required. Most often, you ll want to change object names to reflect the way users think about the business. You should also review object properties that affect formatting, sorting, and other aspects of data presentation, and make
Part II:
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