Waste of digital real estate?

Some of you already know that I fancy Pie Charts. Indeed they are a waste of digital real estate, but it somehow brakes the static look and feel of dashboards with just tables and Line Charts. (Looking forward to the new types in SSRS 2016 btw!)

For now, anyone who would like the recreate this one: http://blog.hoegaerden.be/2009/10/25/pie-chart-techniques/

I do fancy Pie Charts















And what do you think about maps? A nice addition or a waste of digital real estate?

Geo Map - SSRS 2012 2014


















Two dashboards I’ve made for my clients, all of them are extremely happy! 🙂
(Both can be made on SSRS 2008R2, 2012 and 2014)

BumbleBI Dashboard example

 

BumbleBI Dashboard - SSRS 2012 2014

 


 


 

SSRS Dashboarding: a ‘webdesign-look’

Couple of weeks ago, I shared my SSRS dashboard with the community on LinkedIn:

SSRS Dashboard shared on LinkedIn














Koos van Strien asked for the source (RDL) and restyled the dashboard with his ‘webdesign-look’. Pretty nice!

SSRS Dashboard response on LinkedIn

















Koos discusses the changes he made to my dashboard on his blog:
http://www.msbiblog.com/2016/01/28/ssrs-non-ugly-5-the-nitty-griddy-details/#more-402

Here are both dashboards in full size:

SSRS Dashboard Clint Huijbers

 

SSRS Dashboard Koos van Strien



 


 


 

SSRS: How to use a date/time parameter as an input for an MDX query (instead of a list of text values)

I guess we’ve all seen it before, VS/SSDT/BIDS automatically generates datasets for input parameters (which is fine to start with).

But for Date/Time parameters it always (by default) selects the ‘Text’-datatype (drop-down list), instead of the ‘Date/Time’-datatype (nice calendar).


What we want to achieve
So this is what we want to achieve (in red):

SSRS datetime input parameter instead of text for mdx





Start a clean slate
First step is to drop the generated date/time parameter(s) we’re not going to use and create a new one:

SSRS datetime input parameter instead of text for mdx - properties






Make sure to select the ‘Date/Time’ as the datatype, which enables the nice calender-type input. Leave the ‘Available Values’-section unchanged/empty.


Hussle the Date-value in the correct format (YYYY-MM-DD)
A difference between both datatypes is that the ‘Date/Time’-datetype will return values formatted based on your local/regional settings (e.g. YYYY-M-D or in my case D-M-YYYY).
Where I need it to be YYYY-MM-DD (including 0’s), so something like:
2015-12-01

To achieve this, we need to cast/convert a little bit and include a ‘0’ when we need it:

=IIF(LEN(CSTR(DATEPART(DateInterval.Month,CDate(Parameters!DateFrom.Value)))) = 2,
CSTR(DATEPART(DateInterval.Month,CDate(Parameters!DateFrom.Value))),
"0"+CSTR(DATEPART(DateInterval.Month,CDate(Parameters!DateFrom.Value)))
)



Turn it into a MDX value
The final step is to get it into the desired value for MDX:
[Dim Creation Date].[Date].&[2015-12-05T00:00:00]

Here’s the full code expression which you can use as a parameter value (expression):

="[Dim Creation Date].[Date].&["
+CSTR(DATEPART(DateInterval.Year,CDate(Parameters!DateFrom.Value)))+"-"+
IIF(LEN(CSTR(DATEPART(DateInterval.Month,CDate(Parameters!DateFrom.Value)))) = 2,
CSTR(DATEPART(DateInterval.Month,CDate(Parameters!DateFrom.Value))),
"0"+CSTR(DATEPART(DateInterval.Month,CDate(Parameters!DateFrom.Value)))
)+"-"+
IIF(LEN(CSTR(DATEPART(DateInterval.Day,CDate(Parameters!DateFrom.Value)))) = 2,
CSTR(DATEPART(DateInterval.Day,CDate(Parameters!DateFrom.Value))),
"0"+CSTR(DATEPART(DateInterval.Day,CDate(Parameters!DateFrom.Value)))
)
+"T00:00:00]"



Use the expression as an input value for your dataset
The final step is to use the expression:

SSRS datetime input parameter instead of text for mdx - dataset properties









Done!
That’s it! Bye bye ugly drop-down list 🙂

SSRS datetime input parameter instead of text for mdx - final result











SSRS Drill-through: passing multiple values to another report (MDX list of values)

When I build large dashboards, I often fall back to basic stored procedures to combine datasets, but also to be able to manipulate parameter values (month, first week, previous week, previous year totals, etc.).
An annoying thing is that when you want to create a drill-though action to another report which uses MDX, you’ll need to magically join these values.

Well…here’s how you could achieve it.
Let’s say I have these three values (keys): XXX, YYY and ZZZ

MDX expects a prefix and a suffix (according to the dimension properties/levels).
So here’s what MDX expects:

[Dim Customer].[Customer Number].&[XXX]
[Dim Customer].[Customer Number].&[YYY]
[Dim Customer].[Customer Number].&[ZZZ]

Important: MDX expects different objects/rows, like you need to use separate rows in VS/SSDT for the default parameter values.

Your dataset returns the basic key values, first step is to join these (including the prefix and suffix):

="[Dim Customer].[Customer Number].&["+JOIN(Parameters!Customer.Value,"], [Dim Customer].[Customer Number].&[")+"]"

The results is:

[Dim Customer].[Customer Number].&[XXX],[Dim Customer].[Customer Number].&[YYY],[Dim Customer].[Customer Number].&[ZZZ]

Which seems correct, but MDX isn’t expecting a multi-valued string (compared to SP’s).

Final thing, you’ll need to do is to split it again in order to provide a record/row per value:

=Split("[Dim Customer].[Customer Number].&["+JOIN(Parameters!Customer.Value,"], [Dim Customer].[Customer Number].&[")+"]",",")








SSRS: NaN, Infinity or even #Error

I’ve seen many IIF’s, CASE-statements, +0.00001 additions and others to suppress or solve one of these ‘errors’:
NaN, Infinity or even #Error

Let’s start with the basics, when do these things emerge and why?
Normally, you get NaN when trying to divide 0 / 0 or Infinity when you are dividing any number by 0.

I personally use this function to overcome such obstacles:
Public Function Divide(ByVal dividend As Double, ByVal divisor As Double) As Double
If IsNothing(divisor) Or divisor = 0 Or IsNothing(dividend) Or dividend = 0 Then
Return 0
Else
Return dividend / divisor
End If
End Function

And here’s how you should use it:
=Code.Divide(X,Y)

Other more creative solutions are:
=REPLACE(X/Y,"NaN","0")
Or:
=IIF(Y = 0, 0, X/Y)
Or:
=Switch(
X/Y = "NaN",Nothing,
X/Y = "Infinity",Nothing,
X/Y = "Infinity",Nothing
)

SOLVED: “The size necessary to buffer the XML content exceeded the buffer quota” (SSRS)

ssrs-xml-buffer-overflow-error





OMG…I hate this one.
Most of the times when you’re using textbox references (like: ‘Reportitems!Textbox33.Value‘) and when I think you press ‘Delete’ on certain cells, VS automatically renews the textbox-numbers. So things get messed up.

ssrs-xml-buffer-overflow-error-non-existing-textbox-items





So…check if any of your report items are referencing non-existing textbox items, non-existing paramters or fields that are not in existing dataset scope.

Funny thing is that when you start deleting other report items (of which you think they work properly), VS somehow makes up his mind by giving you a decent error message:

ssrs-xml-buffer-overflow-error-which-explains











SSRS – Report Execution Analysis

A little while ago, I made a report to analyze the usage of SSRS report (users and rendering times).

Here’s how it works:
The vertical axis displays the total number of report executions, while the size (and (x) number) displays the total number of unique users.
And not to forget, color of the balloons is based on the average rendering time of that specific report.


Report Execution Analyses explanation

It is pretty straight forward on how to implement it.

Download
Download the SQL Stored Procedures and SSRS report RDL-file here:
ReportExecutionAnalysis.zip





Other reports
Have a look at other reports I’ve published for my readers:

SQL Agent Job Schedule Timeline report

sql-agent-job-schedule-timeline-report



SQL Agent Job Status report

sql-agent-jobs-report








SSRS Heat Map in a Table or Matrix

Today I wanted to create a Heat Map (not the geographical one, but in a matrix) and stumbled upon this blog post:
http://www.arrangeactassert.com/how-to-create-heat-maps-in-sql-server-reporting-services/

It uses the colors from green to red, but I’m more of a subtle guy who wants to use softer tones for that. So I picked my own set of pre-defined colors for the VB code to use and here is it:

ssrs-heat-map-matrix-table-code-example

Code:

Public Function GetHeatmapColor(ByVal textBoxValue, ByVal minDataSetValue, ByVal maxDataSetValue) As String
Dim colours As String() = New String() {"White", "WhiteSmoke", "Gainsboro", "Silver", "DarkGray"}
If textBoxValue = 0 Then
Return colours(0)
End If
If minDataSetValue = maxDataSetValue Then
Return colours(0)
End If
If textBoxValue > maxDataSetValue Then
Return colours(colours.Length - 1)
End If
Dim divider As Decimal = (maxDataSetValue - minDataSetValue + 1) / 4
Dim index As Decimal = (textBoxValue - minDataSetValue) / divider
GetHeatmapColor = colours(index)
End Function

Simply copy/paste this code into Report Properties -> Code and use this expression for your BackgroundColor of the cell in your matrix or table:


=Code.GetHeatmapColor(Sum(Fields!NumberOfUsers.Value), Min(Fields!NumberOfUsers.Value, "DataSet1"), Max(Fields!NumberOfUsers.Value, "DataSet1"))

Note: In my case I set the minimum to 8.0 to ignore very low values which will mess up the color scheme.








Data driven subscriptions cannot be created because the credentials used to run the report are not stored,the report is using user-defined parameters values, or if a linked report, the link is no longer valid.

Well SSRS is stil bugging you huh?

ssrs-data-driven-subscription-cannot-be-created-user-defined-parameter-values

There are a few things you may need to check:

1) Make sure that you’ve stored the credentials of the data source IN the report

2) Since the data-driven subscription is running without an actual user-context, the use of User!UserID is not allowed.

Start by adding this custom code to your report (under ‘Report Properties‘ -> ‘Code‘):

Public Function UserName()
Try
Return Report.User!UserID
Catch
Return "System"
End Try
End Function

Now you need the find: User!UserID

And replace it by: code.UserName()

in the Code-view of the report.








SSRS image with transparent background

ssrs-image-with-transparant-background-example

What?
Sounds easy but actually if you use an image which has transparent areas, ie. has one color which will be transparent, the transparent pixels will be colored in with the page background color.

Why?
I want an image to display per row as a status marker for 3 different types of results: Success, Failure, Unknown. My images are circles with the background being transparent. I want the first column to display an image based on the status result.

If I simply insert an image, the report would use the background color of the report.

How?
The issue exists if your image has transparent areas but displays the report background color instead:

1) Right-click on the cell you want to put the image in.

2) Insert > Rectangle

3) Set the Rectangle Fill color (I’m using an expression based on the status) to output: Green (for Success), Red (for Fail), Orange (for Unknown).

4) Right-click on the rectangle and select Insert > Image

5) Edit the Image Properties to specify the image to use.

The image can be an expression as well (I embed these and then refer to them in the expression by name). For example:
=IIF(Fields!SummaryStatus.Value="Success", "status_ok", IIF(Fields!SummaryStatus.Value="Unknown", "status_unknown", "status_fail"))

ssrs-image-with-transparant-background



Thanks to Joël Lipman.



Here’s another cool example on how to use transparency within a SSRS report:
http://cm-bloggers.blogspot.nl/2010/10/using-transparent-background-in.html