Interactive Sorting Feature in SSRS Reports

By Suzanne Tighe

One of the most overlooked features in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports is the interactive sorting feature. Have you ever needed to narrow down your search when looking at line after line of information? Sometimes the data isn’t given alphabetically or chronologically, so having the interactive sorting feature enabled, in my opinion, is a must-have.

In this “before” screenshot you can see how the data is sorted by PC name, but I want to know which machines are missing patches and when was their last hardware inventory scan. If a PC hasn’t been online for several months, I’m not going to worry as much about it as I would about a PC that is online now. So I click on the “Last HW Scan” arrow:

Interactive Sorting Feature - Before

In the “after” screenshot you can see which PCs last provided inventory to Configuration Manager 2012 (today, as I write this blog). Now, it’s time to go out and visit those machines to see what’s going on.

Interactive Sorting Feature - After

Since I am an end user of our reports and I feel so strongly about this feature, I insist that all of our SSRS reports have it. By default, we already sort the data by what makes most logical sense, however, you can also sort the data by whatever column you feel is appropriate. Apart from using a search feature, this is the next best thing.

In tomorrow’s blog post I will give you step-by-step instructions on how to enable the interactive sorting feature, and on Thursday we’ll demonstrate in a short video how to use the interactive sorting and search features in SSRS reports.

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