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Figure 7.16 Report model generation rules allow you to control the rules that the Report Model Wizard follows when building a report model.
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you re seeing this screen, leave the default setting of Update Model Statistics Before Generating checked. The next step in the wizard prompts you for a model name. Let s call this model AWC. Click on Run to start the Report Model wizard engine. It begins by checking the column uniqueness and width, and then starts processing the rules on the tables and columns in our data source view. As figure 7.17 shows, the wizard makes two passes in building the model. The first pass creates your entities, attributes, and roles. The second pass takes information collected in the first pass and applies it to the newly created items. This second step applies formatting, modifies properties of your entities and attributes, chooses and creates drop-down lists for attributes, and identifies large groups of data. Figure 7.18 shows what the model looks like in the BIDS environment. Now that you ve built your first model, let s dive in and see what you have. Entities The Report Model Wizard automatically creates a set of entities for you based on the data source view that you selected. Entities are logical collections of model items and are most easily matched to the tables in your database. It is important to understand that entities can be derived from one table or many tables in the database. An entity is an object that contains attributes or roles that further describe the entity. An example would be a Customer entity, which may contain attributes such as CustomerName or BUILDING THE REPORT MODEL USING BIDS 235
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Figure 7.17 The Report Model Wizard makes two passes against our data source view to process rules for the model.
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Editing the report model in the designer is as simple as modifying properties.
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CustomerType. This same entity might also have roles, such as Address or Sales Orders. We discuss roles later, but for now just keep in mind that roles are contained within an entity. Entities will be the starting point for creating ad hoc reports with the Report Builder. Typically an ad hoc report creator will want to see customers, orders, and employees, and then filter the results by attributes of the entities. Although the wizard creates entities and sets the entity properties, we are not limited to keeping the default settings that the wizard creates. In this section you learn about some of the properties that you can modify which affect the entity in the resulting report model. You can find each of these properties by selecting the entity on the left side of the BIDS designer and modifying the properties in the properties window. Figure 7.18 shows the report model in the BIDS environment. Table 7.2 shows some properties of the Entity object. This is not a comprehensive list, but it does include the most commonly modified properties. For example, you may want to modify the DefaultDetailAttributes property to contain a different set of fields. The Report Model Wizard takes a best guess at the fields that you want to have as default attributes. As you learn later on in our examples, you can select and drag an entire entity or simply select and drag attributes of an entity onto the design surface of the Report Builder. If you drag the entire entity, the attributes that will show up on the design surface are those defined in the DefaultDetailAttributes property.
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Table 7.2 Property IdentifyingAttributes Comment entity properties Description Specifies the attribute(s) that uniquely identify the entity.
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DefaultDetailAttributes This is a collection of attributes that will be placed in the Report Builder when the entity is dragged to the design area. SortAttributes IsLookup Specifies the attribute(s) by which this entity will be sorted. This property indicates that the Report Builder should treat this entity as a lookup table instead of a full-fledged entity. In some cases you may have an entity that has only one attribute of value to the end users who are building reports. A good example of this is the Product SubCategory entity. If you set the IsLookup property of the Product SubCategory entity to true and then set the IdentifyingAttribuites property to the name field (this is the subcategory name), this will allow the product subcategory to appear as an attribute of the product entity. This makes it possible for the users to easily select a product subcategory without having to navigate to a related entity in the designer. It is important to note that if you change this value to true, you can only specify one field in the IdentifyingAttributes property. If you do not want to expose a certain entity in your model, you can set this property to true and it will not be available to your ad hoc report builders. continued on next page
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