Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Another Project Crescent movie which show the new features.

Last month I blogged about a perfect movie about Project Crescent. Movies are a great way to show what your product can do. I'm very enthousiastic about Project Crescent and found a new movie which will show more Crescent functionality. This movie will talk about:
  • Crescent design environment
  • Crescent visualizations overview
  • Converting a table to a matrix
  • Converting a table to a card
  • Why icons are disabled sometimes
  • Charts with series
  • Bubble charts
  • Filtering vs highlighting
  • Slicers versus filters
  • Tiles

Enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thanks to all 5000 customers who have used the Exact System Information tool

In februari 2010 we introduced the Exact System Information (ESI) tool, which can generate an Improvement Report for you Exact solution. Last week we  reached a new milestone.

5000 customers, from all over the world,
have used the ESI tool.
2800 Improvement reports have been generated.

I want to thank all customers for using the ESI tool. Beside the fact that we will help you to optimize your Exact solution, it will help Exact to better understand how our customers are using the Exact solution.

Additional information about the Exact System Information tool:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to delete cached data in SQL Server Reporting Services for Visual Studio in Preview Mode?

In Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) you can build your Reporting Service Reports. The preview mode of the report make use of cached data. The following objects are cached: result sets of your datasets, parameter value and credentials. Sometimes this feature can be annoying, if changes in the preview mode should be visible immediately. The cached data is stored in the report RDL directory with the extension *.Data. Assume you have a report called Dashboard.RDL, in the same directory you will find a file called: Dashboard.RDL.Data

Delete this file and rerun your report. The report is now generated without cached data. After completion of the report a new Dashboard.RDL.Data is created.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to combine a bar chart with a line graph and running totals in SSRS.

In of my previous blogs a wrote about dashboards design rules and the do's and don'ts. Easy readable charts are essential in the success of your reports. When building reports you have a lot of different chart types you can choose for your reports. By default you can use a bar chart of a line chart. When comparing figures for instance current year with prevoius year of current year with the budget. You can use a standard bar chart like this one:

However the graph is a little bit busy to read. Using the combination of a bar for the current year and line graph for the comparing previous year will make the chart easier to read. Like this:

How to do this:
  • Open the report in Business Intelligent Development Studio (BIDS).
  • Double click on the bars in the chart.

  • Select the Bar of previous year in the Chart data window. In my example RevenueYTD_1.
  • Change chart type
  • Select the line type you want. That's all you need to do.
How to create running totals?
  • Double click on the bar in the chart.
  • Select the Bar of current year in the Chart data window.
  • Series properties.
  • Press on the expression button for the value field.
  • Use next expression: =Runningvalue(Sum(Fields!Previous_Year.Value),SUM,"RevenueYTD_YTDPY")
  • RevenueYTD_YTDPY is the name of my dataset. The column name used is 'Previous_Year'
  • Do the same for the line graph.
  • That's all you have to do.
Enjoy it to build nice and easy readable reports.