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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Unanswered: SQL Server Reporting Services sucks because...

    Dammit. I've spent the last five years getting people to forget that I ever knew diddly-squat about creating Crystal Reports, allowing me to focus on actual data calculations and business requirements, and avoid the shitty GUIs that seem endemic to report writing software.
    Then along comes Microsoft, wanting to compete with Crystal.
    Hey, had they simply named their product "Microsoft Reporting Services", all would have been fine, and I could have avoided the myriad dilemmas that consume developer's time and tax their brain power, such as what font to use, or whether a particular border should be "chiseled" or not.
    But NO.
    MS had to name their product "Microsoft SQL SERVER Reporting Services", meaning that the powers-that-be assume knowledge of this travesty should be part of my job, simply due to the inclusion of SQL Server in its name.
    Well, OK, I agreed to dive into this SSRS thing, and despite its residency in the godawful Development Studio environment, I had high hopes that it could not possibly be as f'd up as the perennially shitty Crystal Reports.
    I had, however, underestimated the incompetency of Microsoft developers, who apparently couldn't develop a usable interface for a brown paper bag if their lunch was in it.

    So this thread will be a venue for my rants as I struggle with this product. I expect some sort of catharsis, at least, and the personal apology of a high-level MS employee with accompanying promise to address my complaints at the most.

    Feel free to chime in with your own grievances, or address mine if you see fit.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  2. #2
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    What the hell is a tablix?
    ...and why will it not let me perform what is perhaps one of the simplest, and most necessary functions of a report writer? That being, to select a range of columns and simultaneously set them all to the same width?
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    And this tablix thing has clearly defined row and column headers, much like excel. But yet if I want to change the width of column, instead of selecting the column I have to select one of the cells in the column.
    Hello, Microsoft???? Width is a property of the entire column, not a property of individual cells in the column.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  4. #4
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    Trying Report Writer 3.0 now, because I read that it was a better interface than Developer Studio.
    We'll see...

    Right off, I'm trying to create a report based on a dataset that has one row per employee, and also lists the group to which the employee belongs. The Report Wizard is insisting on applying the SUM function to each employee, as well as adding a subtotal, even though each employee has only one record. There is no option for including employee on the report as a simple row header.

    Now I have to individually edit every detail cell in the report to remove the unnecessary function.

    And no, I still cannot multi-select columns to set their properties simultaneously, despite the fact the MS Access has had this feature in its report designer since version 2.0.

    As a matter of fact, I had high hopes before I right-clicked into this quagmire that MS might have modeled SSRS report design tools on the MS Access's report designer, which absolutely rocked (right up until the latest release when it too was corrupted by the evil ribbon).
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  5. #5
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    Alright, I found a way to display the properties for cells, and enter the width manually. Plus, also found a way to enter values for multi-select.
    But its still goofy....
    In Developer Studio I have to select a header or footer cell to edit the width property for a column. In Report Writer, I have to select a data cell.
    Go figure. Neither one uses the sensible option of allowing me to edit column width by selecting the column.
    Then, for a single cell, I have the option in the properties box of expanding the Size property and editing width and height separately. But for some reason, when I have multiple cells selected, this is a no-can-do unless all the cells are already the same size. If their widths are different, you are forced to manually type (or paste) the combination of dimensions as a text string, like so: "1.5in, 0.25in".
    Lame, yes. But at least I can group edit now.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    San Antonio, TX
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    Wow...I could have added to it, but then about 6 months ago I dived into ASP.NET, and now I don't have to deal with this beast But just to add some oil into the fire, what about performance? This is just not acceptible!
    "The data in a record depends on the Key to the record, the Whole Key, and
    nothing but the Key, so help me Codd."

  7. #7
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    Wish I had a choice, but we are a Microsoft Consulting business, so I have to know Microsoft technologies.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1
    Hi Blindman,
    I found a possible solution. Apparently if you take a hammer and hit yourself about half an inch above your left temple, it shifts your mindset just enough to align with some of the thought processes that go on at microsoft.

    Like in times of yore, wizards offer all kinds of solutions to problems you didn't even know you had, and end up dissapearing after you've caught some godawful deformity. I found working with a fresh report I create manually tends to help. The SUM function is applied to datasets, for whatever reason. right clicking a cell (which they've called a textbox, btw. Just thought you'd like some more fuel for the fire) allows you to go to it's expression. Using Fields, you get an unSUMed representation of the column.

    Wasn't tablix one of the characters from asterix and obelix? if so, microsoft has a good sense of humour. In all other cases, it's just a different name for a table. Why they couldn't label it as table... *hits self with hammer* oh wait, it makes sense now.

    may God have mercy on your soul when you start passing parameters to sub reports.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
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    831
    Do it in code, ....

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