Reporting

Why is Using a SQL Server Alias for Column Names Important?

By Garth Jones Here’s the error message that I kept getting, “Could not update a list of fields for the query. Verify that you can connect to the data source and that your query syntax is correct.” Within the detailed part of the error message it said, “An item with the same key has already been added.” This happened when I pasted my working query from SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) into Visual Studio 2015 – Business Intelligence also known as SSDT-BI. This blog post will discuss this error and why using a SQL Server alias for column names is important when solving this problem. How could I be getting this error message when the query worked perfectly in SSMS? Troubleshooting the Error Message Trying to solve this issue I copied the query, again, to SSDT-BI. I closed and reopened SSDT...

What is Enhansoft Reporting for SCCM?

You probably heard that Enhansoft Reporting was released on Monday, but you could still be wondering, “What is Enhansoft Reporting? What does it do?” All of these questions and more will be answered within this post. What is Enhansoft Reporting for SCCM? Enhansoft Reporting enhances the value of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) by extending the inventory details collected by SCCM. Enhansoft Reporting then puts these inventory details into over 150 clear and precise reports. It doesn’t matter what version of SCCM you are using, you can use all of Enhansoft Reporting’s reports! This new reporting package takes all of the hard work out of creating your own custom reports. Dashboards/Reports Enhansoft Reporting’s over 150 dashboards and reports are sorted into 25 categories...

Cloud Reporting: How to Setup a Linked Server

By Garth Jones What about cloud reporting? What if your cloud provider doesn’t have the tools that you need to create reports from a database in the cloud? These were the questions on my mind when I was asked, “How can I get a daily report on an internal application?” Based on my discussions with IT professionals at conferences and online in forums, etc., reporting is still the number one item that people need and want. I don’t escape these reporting requests as I’m often asked by the Enhansoft team to create internal reports. This blog post will show you how I setup a linked SQL Server connection on one of my on-premises SQL Servers. This was done so that I could report on results from my cloud-hosted SQL Server database. Ultimately I created a SQL Server Reporting Services Report (SSRS) ...

How to Add a User’s Office Location Details to a Report

A common question often asked of Garth Jones is, “How can I add a user’s office location details into a report?” First you need to ensure that this information is getting populated within Active Directory (AD), so in Garth’s blog post he’ll show you how to check to see if a user’s office location details are being populated in AD and then the rest of his post will show you how to inventory these details in order for the results to be added into a report query.

How to Set the Page Size for a ConfigMgr Report

By Garth Jones You took the time to make sure that your report fits perfectly onto a landscape-sized letter page (11 x 8.5 inches) or an A4 (210 x 297 mm). When you run the report on your SSRS site the report looks great as shown below. Then something happens… When you export or print the report it gets split over two pages. The report wasn’t designed to be split like that! Notice how the report is shown on two pages in the screenshot below. This begs the question, “How do you fix this?” The answer is actually very simple. When reports are created, the default report size is 8.5 x 11 inches for the printed page size. You can see this by reviewing the Report Properties within SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). Note: These same attributes also exist in Report Builder (RB) and SQL Server Business ...

What Are BI Reports?

By Garth Jones What are Business Intelligence (BI) reports? Before I can answer this, let’s take a look at the definition of BI. TechTarget defines BI as: “Business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting actionable information to help corporate executives, business managers and other end users make more informed business decisions. BI encompasses a variety of tools, applications and methodologies that enable organizations to collect data from internal systems and external sources, prepare it for analysis, develop and run queries against the data, and create reports, dashboards and data visualizations to make the analytical results available to corporate decision makers as well as operational workers. The potential benefits of business intelligenc...

How Do You Backup a Single ConfigMgr Report?

By Garth Jones Every so often, this question comes up within the Microsoft Forums or on the MyITForum mailing list: How can I backup my Custom ConfigMgr Report? There are many reasons why someone would not have a copy of their ConfigMgr report. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter why, particularly when the solution is simple. The answer is to download a copy of the RDL on to your computer, but exactly how do you do that? 1. Start by opening Internet Explorer and go to your System Center Configuration Manager Reporting Site. In my example, this is: http://cm-cas-rs1/Reports/. 2. Browse to the report that you want to backup. 3. Place your cursor over the report to display the menu button. 4. Click the download link. This will download the report to your local computer; from there, you can copy it ...

How Do You Change a ConfigMgr Report When You Don’t Have the RDL?

By Garth Jones The other day I was talking to a ConfigMgr admin and he told me that his former co-worker created a report for ConfigMgr that works great, but now management wants him to make a change to the report. He was wondering what to do about it and asked me to help him. I told him not to worry; there is an easy solution to his problem. Using your favorite browser, go to the ConfigMgr Report folder that hosted the report. Hover over the report to expose the purple arrow, and then click on the arrow. Once the Menu is exposed, click the Download button. This will download the RDL to your local computer, just like any other file downloaded from your browser.   Since he wanted to store this with all of his other RDLs, he moved it to his report source folder, and made the changes his mana...

Are There Different Types of Reports?

By Garth Jones The answer to the title’s question is YES there are several different types of reports but, you probably already knew that! There are too many different types to mention, but here are a few: -Dashboards -Count Reports -List Reports -Detail Reports -Scorecards -Choropleth Maps Why would you opt to use one over the other? This could be a long philosophical question, but the short answer is: the report type chosen should best display the information to the end user. The long answer boils down to the same answer, but personal preference comes into play too. Do you create a pie chart, donut chart or a choropleth map? Is there a wrong answer to this question? I don’t think so. The same is also true with this question: -Do you create one report to rule them all or break it into sma...

What Are the Best Report Types for ConfigMgr?

By Garth Jones In some recent blog posts, I talked about Business Intelligence (BI) reports and other different types of reports. This blog post will take things a step further and I will look at some of the best report styles for ConfigMgr. Now I’m not talking about the look and feel of a report, such as fonts, text color, overall color schema, data time formats, etc. Instead, I’m talking about whether or not a visual aid will be used, will the report simply list some common details about a computer item, or will the report list full details about a computer. Before we get started let’s talk about Configuration Manager. This will help define what styles of reports are generally used to display information from ConfigMgr. Since Configuration Manager is not a real-time product, there is no ...

System Center Configuration Manager Reporting

System Center Configuration Manager is a great product to collect inventory, but how does this help with your reporting and auditing tasks? To a certain degree it does help, however, it seems to be missing a number of key elements, such as determining: · Who is in the local administrators group? · What local user accounts exist? · What version of SQL Server is installed and where? · Do any workstations have file shares enabled? · Who is connected to a certain printer or network file share? The answer to these questions doesn’t have to be difficult, particularly if you have Enhansoft’s latest version of Enhanced Web Reporting. Enhansoft is pleased to announce the release of Enhanced Web Reporting v5! In Enhanced Web Reporting (EWR) v5, most of our new reports will help organizations underst...

Extra Value Prompts Added to List of PCs by Age Report

One of our Warranty Information Reporting customers asked us if we could update the List of PCs by Age report. Instead of generating reports for each year, they wanted to be able to see what PCs were 3 years of age and older, 4 years of age and older, and 5 years of age and older.  They told us that by seeing all of these PCs within one report they could better plan their PC refresh cycle, so we added more value prompts! Here’s what they had to say, “Yes that is incredible, exactly what we needed! Thanks very much as this will make our refresh planning easier.” –Ian Russell, Manager, Corporate IT, Hospitality Industry.

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