Microsoft and a little thing I like to call Sql Server Reporting Services

Let me start off by saying I think Microsoft’s Sql Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a wonderful thing.  It gives me, the developer, a way to off load reports and hand them back to the business.  All I have to do is

  • create some tables and/or views
  • create a Data Source View (DSV) pointing to the tables/views
  • create a Semantic Model Definition Language (SMDL) file from the Data Source View
  • Bribe a database administrator to publish it to a server the users can actually get to
  • Let the fun begin!

I know it sounds complicated, but it really isn’t.  In fact, the only real complaint I have about the whole process, which is the whole reason I’m writing this entry, is to complain about, and hopefully have answered, the SMDL editing Microsoft provides.

It’s pretty straightforward.  It provides a list of entities on one side of the window and a listing of all the attributes (fields) for the selected entity on the other side.  My complaint comes into play once you have more than 1 attribute in a given entity.  The best sorting Microsoft could provide was an up/down arrow to move fields up and down in the listing?  This is great and all unless I have more than a few fields in that listing.  Want to add a new field?  It gets added to the bottom of the list.  Want to keep that list of fields sorted alphabetically?  Start clicking on that up arrow!

I have already decided once is too many times to have to do this task.  Until I can find some way to sort the fields in the IDE I am going to write a little app to do it for me.

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