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Figure 6.11 The Sales Promotion report serves as both the RSS feed source and the HTML campaign details page.
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For example, figure 6.11 shows the second page of the Sales Promotion report when the user requests a campaign with an ID of 2. As you can see, this report is very similar to the RS Product Catalog report sample, so we won t spend much time discussing its implementation details. Instead, let s focus on explaining how to export the report s content to XML. Understanding the RSS schema What the report s XML output needs to be depends on which version of the RSS specification you have to support. For example, listing 6.4 shows what the sales promotion RSS feed should look like if it conforms to RSS version 2.0.
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Listing 6.4 The Sales Promotion RSS feed for notifying AWC subscribers about promotions General feed<rss version="2.0"> related header <channel> <title>AWC Promotions</title> <link>http://www.adventure-works.com/</link> <description>Great discounted deals!</description> <language>en-us</language> <ttl>1440</ttl> <item xmlns:n1="http://www.awc.com/sales" xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/ 2001/XMLSchema"> Feed item
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<title>LL Road Frame Sale!!!</title> <link>http://localhost/reportserver /AWReporter/Sales Promotion&SpecialOfferID=2&rs:Command=Render&rs:Format=XML </link> <description>Great LL Road Frame Sale!!!</description> <pubDate>Saturday, January 10, 2004</pubDate> </item> <item xmlns:n1="http://www.awc.com/sales" xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"> <!-Another item information here</item> </channel> </rss>
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Given the feed in listing 6.4, figure 6.12 shows how it is rendered in the IntraVNews RSS Reader, which is integrated with Outlook:
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Figure 6.12 The AWC Promotions feed is rendered in IntraVNews.
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Let s now examine what needs to be done to massage the report output to make it compliant with the RSS schema. Defining the report XML output The first step required to export the report to an RSS-compliant format is to fine-tune its XML output. We ve made a few changes using the Data Output tab for various elements, so the report renders to the abbreviated XML schema shown in listing 6.5.
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Listing 6.5 The Sales Promotion report rendered in XML
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<SalesPromotion xmlns=http://www.awc.com/sales xmlns:xsi="http:// www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="..." Name="Sales Promotion" Date="2004-01-10T00:00:00.0000000-05:00"> <Promotions> <Promotion Description="LL Road Frame Sale!!!"> Represents an item <ProductInfo> in the RSS feed <Products> <Product ProductNumber="FR-T98U-44" Product="HL Touring Frame - Blue, 44" Color="Blue" Size="44" Weight="2.92" ListPrice="1003.9100"/>
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<Product ProductNumber="FR-T98R-44" Product="HL Touring Frame Red, 44" Color="Red" Size="44" Weight="2.92" ListPrice="1003.9100"/> </Products> </ProductInfo> </Promotion> </Promotions> </SalesPromotion>
The most important change you have to make is to explicitly set the XML Schema setting at the report level, as shown in figure 6.13. If the Data Schema setting is not specified, the Report Server will autogenerate the XML document global namespace to include the date when the report is processed. This will interfere with referencing the document elements from an XSL transformation, so make sure you explicitly set the schema namespace.
Figure 6.13 Use the Data Output report settings to define the report XML root element name and namespace.
Writing the XSL transformation Once you have finished making adjustments to the XML schema, the next step will be to write an XSL transformation to transform the XML output to an RSS-compliant format. To fit the Sales Promotion output to the RSS schema, we wrote the simple XSL transformation, as an XSLT file, shown in listing 6.6.
Listing 6.6 Using XSL transformations to fine-tune the report s XML output
< xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" > <xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"
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xmlns:n1="http://www.awc.com/sales" xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"> Loops through <xsl:template match="/"> all promotion <xsl:for-each select="n1:SalesPromotion/n1:Promotions/ elements n1:Promotion"> <item> <title><xsl:value-of select="./@Description"/></title> <link>http://www.adventure-workds.com/promotions</link> <description>Great <xsl:value-of select="./@Description"/> Items discounted Generates <xsl:value-of select="./@DiscountPct"/> percent! Offer an RSS item expires on <xsl:value-of select="./@StartDate"/> </description> <pubDate><xsl:value-of select="./@StartDate"/></pubDate> </item> </xsl:for-each> </xsl:template> </xsl:stylesheet>
The XSL transformation simply loops through all sales promotions and outputs them in XML according to the RSS item specification. Strictly speaking, in our case there is always going to be only one XML sales promotion node, because we use a report parameter to select a single campaign. Finally, we need to add the XSLT file to our project. Similar to working with images, we have to add the XSLT file to the same report project and subsequently upload it to the report catalog when the report is deployed. The Report Server cannot reference external XSLT files. The last implementation step is to take care of appending the current sales promotion item to the RSS blog file. The easiest way to accomplish this is to manually update the RSS feed XML file on the web server when there is a new promotional campaign. RSS newsreaders could reference this file directly, for example, by going to www.adventure-works.com/promotions.rss. Of course, if the requirements call for it, the process could also be fully automated. We see how this could be accomplished in chapter 10, where we implement a table trigger that invokes a custom web service when a new sales promotion record is added to the database. To subscribe to the RSS feed, AWC customers can configure their favorite RSS readers to point to the blog file. Once they do so, they are notified each time the blog file is updated.
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