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SSRS and R

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Jen Underwood just published her latest blog (R Visualizations in Reporting Services) and it is very exciting topic. This solution looks like a native SSRS solution and I would love to give it a try.

Back to year 2010, I read a article (Analyzing Direct Marketing Data with R) by Liang Wei and Brendan Kitts from Lucid Commerce Inc. discussing how to render a R chart within SSRS. 

Categories: BI, R, SSRS Tags: , ,

Embedded SQL Reporting Services Reports into Tableau Dashboard

November 13, 2014 Leave a comment

I blogged about Add Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services charting capability to Tableau a few days ago. And I also blogged how to use SSRS data driven subscription to mass generate hundreds of images to be used as Tableau custom shape. However, Tableau does not support high resolution images in custom shape. Hence, I’ll show you another approach and probably an extremely powerful way: Directly Calling and Displaying a SQL Server Reporting Service Reports inside Tableau Dashboard

Look at the below two screenshot:

1 – Embeded SSRS Reports in Tableau Dashboard – with command toolbarEmbeded SSRS Reports in Tableau Dashboard - with command toolbar

2 – Embeded SSRS Reports in Tableau Dashboard – no command toolbarEmbeded SSRS Reports in Tableau Dashboard - no command toolbar

For experienced SSRS developer, I’m sure you already guess the trick: use SSRS URL access inside a Tableau Web Page control. Basically, in the first one, the URL is:

http://<SSRS Server>/ReportServer?%2fGaugeSamples%2fThermometerChart&rs:Command=Render&Value=102

and the second one is:

http://<SSRS Server>/ReportServer?%2fGaugeSamples%2fThermometerChart&rs:Command=None&Value=102

The first parameter (rs:Command) tells SSRS server whether to render the command toolbar and the other parameter (Value) tells what the Thermometer Indicator’s value should be.

Personally, I’m very excited about this integration. It opens a door of endless possibility. For example, you can:

  • Leverage existing Microsoft BI assess and integrate into Tableau dashboard
  • SSRS is able to handle pixel perfect chart rendering and can be used as a dynamic charting library inside Tableau dashboard. As you can see in the first screenshot, there is a property called “Size of the bulb at the bottom of the thermometer”. You can expose lots of properties through parameters and let Tableau to invoke them on the fly. Imagine you have drop downs in the Tableau dashboard to passing parameters to SSRS reports to precisely control the chart rendering. This is probably what Tableau is lacking of at the moment.
  • Powerful operational reports. SSRS far better superior operational reports capability than Tableau. Now you can use Tableau to give the user a high level glance and dive into super detailed details.
  • SSRS has auto refresh feature that you can let the chart to refresh every X seconds. Great for operational BI. (I have tested whether the auto refresh is working inside Tableau web page control myself. I’ll test it out later.)
  • SSRS has actions (Similar to Tableau dashboard action) that can chain various SSRS reports together to provide “guided navigation” as well as “execute some operational tasks” together with each SSRS report execution. Imagine the scenario that you deep dive into the details and then click the report action inside the SSRS report which invoke a SQL Server Integration Services Package (SSIS, Microsoft’s ETL platform) on the fly and execute a Python script to generate another Tableau Data Extract. I don’t want to dive into details. But when you bring the entire Microsoft BI stack together, you are talking about something beyond the imagination.

The Power View should work as well using this URL integration approach but at this stage, Tableau offers much better interactivity. As the Power BI platform gets more mature, maybe it is another great story. Stay tuned…

Categories: BI, Power BI, SSRS, Tableau Tags: , , ,

Another one, Thermometer Chart in Tableau

November 11, 2014 Leave a comment

Following up Gauge Chart in Tableau and Add Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services charting capability to Tableau, here is another one: Thermometer Chart (value from -22 to 104(F) )

10028

The Tableau workbook can be found at: https://public.tableausoftware.com/views/TableauThermometerChart/Thermometer

The image I generated can be downloaded :

Categories: BI, SSRS, Tableau Tags: , ,

Gauge Chart in Tableau

November 10, 2014 3 comments

Continue my previous post Add Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services charting capability to Tableau, I’ll walk through how do I add gauge charts to Tableau.

1. go to: https://msftrsprodsamples.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=SS2008!AdventureWorksOffline%20Report%20Samples to download the sample reports to get a demo ready Gauge chart in SSRS. It use XML data source so that you can even run the report offline without connect to any data source.

2. change the gauge chart RDL to create a parameter and set the gauge indicator value to  derive from this parameter

3. change the chart size and report page size. In my test, I set all of them to 5cm. I also set margin to 0cm so that there is no gap around the gauge.

4. deploy to the SSRS report server.

5. navigate to the report management page and create a data driven subscription. Basically, the data driven subscription query returns a table with 100 rows to get value from 1 to 100. The data driven subscription loop through this query and generate the gauge chart one by one and push to a shared folder location.

6. copy the generated 100 TIFF images to Tableau’s custom shape folder C:\Users\George.Qiao\Documents\My Tableau Repository\Shapes\MyGaugeChart\

7. Create Tableau worksheet and enjoy! Below is the one I created:

Gauge Chart in Tableau

To play with it, you can go to https://public.tableausoftware.com/views/TableauGaugeChart/Dashboard-Gauge

For those one who want the gauge chart images, here is the link:

Categories: BI, SSRS, Tableau Tags: , ,

Add Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services charting capability to Tableau

November 10, 2014 3 comments

Tableau is great for its interactivity in dashboard while Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is great for its pixel perfect reporting. When we add them together, they are truly awesome!

SSRS has a rich out of box charting library and a few 3rd party add-ons, e.g. Nevron. You can also use .NET drawing library to perform custom drawing in SSRS (Ref: http://blog.oraylis.de/2012/04/ssrs-custom-drawing-code). In addition, SSRS is able to use Google Chart API to render chart, such as Venn diagram etc.

ssrs chart types

 

SSRS has powerful expression language support and tons of properties to precisely control the chart rendering and be able to export to various formats. TIFF, one of the output format, gives us the ability to prepare custom images, which can be used within Tableau as custom shapes. SSRS has another great feature, mighty “Data Driven Subscription” (be aware, SQL Server Enterprise Edition only!). Combining the image format export and data driven subscription, we can automate the Tableau custom shape image generation.

In next blog post, I’ll show you how to add gauge charts into Tableau.

Categories: BI, SSRS, Tableau Tags: , ,

How to Design SSRS Multi-Pie Chart

March 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Multi-Pie Chart in SSRS

Multi-Pie Chart in SSRS

The above is the output of my SSRS report. There is no built-in multi-pie chart in SSRS but it is very easy to design your own.

Multi-Pie Chart Design in SSRS

Multi-Pie Chart Design in SSRS

Basically, you place 4 table controls in the layout design and make sure all 4 are placed in a single rectangle control to make sure the vertical align is OK. All 4 table controls are sharing the same data set. In my case, it is “FY” which returns a single column table with values as 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004 etc.And each table control contains a sub report which renders a pie chart. The trick is that I config the “Filters” in the table, shown as below:

SSRS_Multi-Pie Chart_Expression

As you can see, the modulo arithmetic operator enables splitting your data set into 4 sub sets. The 2nd table will have the filter with Value as 2 and 3rd table has value 3 and 4th table has value 4.

I did a quick and dirty way to quickly set it up. In reality, you probably want to check the first data member in your date set as they will impact the order and position of your pie chart. You could wrap the expression with addition IF / Case statement to check the first data member and decide the remainder accordingly. And if your data member does not have numeric values, you can always use row_number() over() to get an ordered numeric value.

 

 

Categories: BI, SSRS Tags: ,