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Second Biggest Mistake When Designing SSRS Reports

By Garth Jones

The second biggest mistake that people often make when creating a report is putting too much data in it.

Take the report below, this is an actual mock-up of a report requested by a client. What makes this report really interesting is that if it was printed it would be 48-inches wide! It is virtually impossible to scroll left to right and ensure what you are reading the same row.

Second Biggest Mistake - Mock-up

Instead, I always suggest breaking-up a really big report into smaller sections. In the mock-up I color-coded the sections, so that the client could see roughly how the final reports would look.

The four sections worked out to:

· Device Details

· Patch Details

· SCCM Client Details

· Other Tools

As I have worked with this client over the years, this initial report has morphed. It is now comprised of at least a dozen different reports. The reports follow the idea of a summary report drilling down into a list report which drills down to a details report. You can read more here about three essential SSRS reporting styles.

The moral of the story is less is more. If a single row doesn’t fit onto a page when printed, then there is likely too much information. Break-up the report into two or more reports or report sets.

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Enhansoft specializes in providing software solutions, custom reports, and consulting services for retrieving your IT asset inventory. This is done within the system management area focusing on Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) by extending its asset information and reporting capabilities. Enhansoft is a Bronze sponsor of myITforum.com.

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