Report Development

This documentation explains the standard operating procedures for developing SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports for NetForum. This documentation does not explain the finer points of developing a report format as it assumes that the developer knows how to create Reporting Services report formats. Rather, this instruction is geared toward explaining how a report must be developed to operate in NetForum.

There are three main parts to creating a report inNetForum. The first part is simply developing the SQL database stored procedure that asks the necessary Report Parameters and returns the data you need. The second part is creating the Reporting Services Format that displays the results of the SP. The third part is getting NetForum to successfully run the report.

Step Three — getting the report to run in NetForum — is typically the greatest challenge. The RDL may run in visual studio, but getting the same report to run though the web interface can be harder. Moreover, the report must be configured just right in NetForum in order to run the report through the application. If you follow the steps below, then you should have an easier time getting your reports to operate through NetForum.

Develop SQL for Reports

Develop a Stored Procedure in the NetForum database. Note that not all reports necessarily require a SP. SSRS allows you to create queries and joins embedded in the report itself so you do not technically need to create an SP. However, Abila endorses the use of stored procedures for reports, as they provide increased performance and flexibility. See Report SQL for more information.

Reporting Services Formats

Reporting Services report authoring is part of the .NET framework. NetForum supports RDLs developed using Visual Studio.NET 2003 Reporting Services components. You do not need the full version of Visual Studio .NET 2003. One of the Visual Studio .NET stand-alone products (such as Visual Basic.NET, Visual C#.NET, Visual C++.NET, or Visual J#.NET) will be sufficient and less expensive.

Enter Report Information

Now that you have a functioning report, you need to enter information about that report in NetForum, as follows:

  1. Add a new record in the Report area of the Admin module.
  2. Add any Report Parameters.
  3. After the report metadata is configured properly, you'll add one or more Report Links to give users the ability to launch the report.