Connecting to Your Data (Report Builder 2.0)

A report displays data that comes from one or more data sources, such as a SQL Server relational database or an Analysis Services multidimensional database. The term data source is also used in Report Builder to refer to a set of connection information that defines which source of data you want to access, what type of data it is, and credentials that allow you to access the data source. These data source definitions can be embedded in your report or they can be saved as resource files on a report server and shared by many reports and users. Ideally, your report server administrator will create a number of shared data sources for you to use and all you need to do to connect to your data is to select the shared data source you want. The Table/Matrix and Chart wizard assumes that you have shared data sources available and that you have permissions to access them. If not, talk to your report server administrator.,

After you select a data source, you define a set of fields that you want to use in your report by creating a dataset query. The query language depends on the type of source data you are accessing. Report Builder provides different query designers, depending on the data source type, to help you create dataset queries. The Table/Matrix and Chart wizard provides a simple graphical interface that builds the query for you; all you need to do is select the fields you want in your dataset. You can also define datasets directly from the Report Data pane. Click New and select Add Dataset to open the query designer for your data source.

In the query designer, you can do the following:

  • Run the query to see data. The query returns a result set. The columns in the result set become the collection of fields for the dataset. The rows in the result become the detail data for the dataset. You can work with the query until you get the columns that you want.

  • Add query parameters to help retrieve just the data that you want for your report. Query parameters automatically generate matching report parameters. Report parameters enable users to specify the report data that they want to see. For example, a query parameter for product category enables the user to select which product categories they are interested in.

  • Import an existing query from another report.

After you create a query, you can specify additional fields that are based on columns or on expressions. You can also specify collation (which affects the sort order of data), case-sensitivity, and other data options for each dataset. For more information, see How to: Add, Edit, or Delete a Field in the Report Data Pane (Report Builder 2.0).

Data sources, datasets, queries, query parameters, and report parameters are parts of a report definition that are saved in the report definition on the report server or in the report definition (.rdl) file on the file system. Use the Report Data pane to view these items in the report.

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