My objective was to move all of our existing Crystal Reports to SSRS. Save money and keep it in the MS Fam. Through the recreation of these reports I found a couple little things I thought I would share…
Sign up for Subscriptions – what is the body text for the email??
It is the comments of course. Oh and if you want them to display in anything other than a streaming line of text you need to use HTML code in the Textarea. Not extremely intuitive but as you will see alot of SSRS is not…
Working in a manufacturing distribution center we actually use a lot of barcodes. Apparently SSRS does not use the font stored on the server. So during testing if you have the handy little barcode font on your client it will display like a dream. Then your first user runs the report and yep no barcode.
Work around is to install the barcode on all the clients. That works for me I only have a handful of clients that require the barcode. Problem is if you convert the report to PDF barcode is gone again.
work around for that is to use this handy little tip and code trick on this blog and convert the barcode text to an embeded image.
Which is pretty and looks fantastic, but we found the scanner didn’t like it much and had to go back to straight font and install on clients.
Grouping consistently by understanding “Add row inside” and “Add row Outside”
This was a place of great frustration while trying to take something that looks like a grid to look like a word document. I found the Header Detail approach worked well having the detail be a sub-report. But that only seemed necessary if I needed to bring back a list of lists. Like a list of Purchase Orders going out with lists of items on them. And you are limited to one level of sub-report so your sub-report can not have another sub report. Surprisingly I did find I needed that functionality. So If I had just a “one off” number where I have one Purchase Order I found if I used Add Row – Group Inside for anything that needed to be part of the item list and Group Outside for anything that needed to be part of the header i was actually able to accomplish this.
Renaming of Tabs on export to Excel
Still working on this one. Ultimately it appears you have to rip the report out of SSRS and just write your own scheduler that will run the report, the open a saved version of the report then rename the tabs save and close. Yeah NOT ton of work, but a little more than what I want to put into it. Especially when the upgrade to 2008 R2 supposedly fixes the issue. So unless it is insisted upon the multiple tab excel reports will just be sheet 1.. sheet 2 unless someone wants to manually change it.
Sending multiple subscriptions out to different subscribers how to tell them apart?
This one is ridiculous, but I do have a subscription I manage that sends out 10 emails to 10 different recipients. You have a nice little description field for the subscription, but I have yet to find a way to identify what is going where. I ended up staggering the trigger so I can identify them from the list or using the email address of the recipient. Ok that is total hack. PLEASE let me know if anyone has found a way to update the description field. I did hear there is a way to update them directly in the database, but my theory would be anytime you make a change to the subscription that information would be overwritten.