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Monday, April 5, 2010

Dashboards in SSRS 2008


To be frank, I was extremely happy when I got to work on SSRS 2008. The 2008 version has changed so much for the better when you compare to the 2005 version, be it on terms of aesthetics or developer friendliness, you just name it. Moreover, I am the sort of person who hates to say NO to the customer when it comes to requirements, so I always make sure that I try to utilize all workarounds before I utter the dreaded No word. So when my customer asked whether I would be able to create a dashboard for them, I started scratching up my head and in the end, managed to develop the following (included a trial version of Dundas Map also)


Update (31/05/2013)
Check out this post – A Sample SSRS Dashboard and Some Tips & Tricks for a better example of SSRS Dashboard

Now talking of dashboard, recently there was a post in the forums asking whether it was possible to create a heatmap sort of control which displays data in 2 dimensions - one dimension is the color which will keep on changing based on one measure and the other was the size which again increases or decreases based on a second measure. Even though it looked impossible in the beginning, I suggested a workaround - utilize the N character in Wingdings which will give you a square box.

To develop this sort of control, follow the steps below:-
1) Open the report and define your datasets with atleast 2 measures.
2) Create a tablix and along with your normal rows and columns, add a new column for the heatmap control
3) In that column, type the letter N and change the font to Wingdings. Now the tablix column should display a square.
4) Change the font color by adding the expression you like. As for myself, I used the code from Dave's blog (refer this, a wonderful and handy blog on conditional formatting)
5) Change the font size by adding the expression you like.
6) Now when you preview the report, you should be able to see something like below


In my example, the color changes based on the Growth% measure and the size changes based on the Avg Sell In Vol (Last 3 months) measure. This method can be further improvised to get some very nice dashboards.

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