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SQL SERVER 2016 –New Reporting Features (part 1/2)

Makis Gennouzis | 06/07/2016 | SQL, reporting, BI, Microsoft

The new version of SQL Server 2016 offers a number of new features for Developers and even for users. In this post I am going to focus on the new features provided in Reporting Services. Firstly I am going to briefly mention some of the new features and then thoroughly explain them.

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The biggest change that this version offers, is the removal of Report Manager and the creation of new Web Portal which offers a range of new features for both IT departments that will work on the implementation of the reports, even for end users who will have access to them. In addition, the revamped User Interface (UI) of the Report Builder, the new "fresh" appearance of Charts and Gauges provide new experience to users of all levels.

Notable is the new opportunity provided to developers for dynamic positioning and flexibility in the parameters, a feature that for some time, many advanced users of the application demanded and certainly was a drawback of reporting services. This change contributes in turn to improve the UI. It also provides the ability to export Report in Power Point which helps users easily create presentations and graphs Reports.

Of course we could not overlook another new feature which all SQL community has been long waiting and that Microsoft has reported in earlier versions of SQL, but has never incorporated. We refer to the new creation possibility for Mobile Report via the SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher. The Mobile BI is a fact for the SQL server, putting the reporting dynamically in the field of smartphones and tablets, and for the businessman «on the move» who want to be aware of the important metrics of the company and take decisions.

Let us now look in some more details about the aforementioned new features.

 

 

Renewed Report Builder

In SQL SERVER 2016 the User Interface of Report Builder has improved considerably:

Version prior to 2016

 

SQL Server 2016

 

Modern design charts and gauge style

With the new version of SQL Server 2016 we are able to create new reports in a more modern and “sexy” features. The charts and gauges have been redesigned in order to offer the user a new aesthetic experience that successfully reaches the aesthetics of the charts and gauges of Power BI.

In the image below we can take a look of a report with Charts as it would appear before the version of SQL SERVER 2016.

While in the image below wecan have a glance at the same report with Charts as it would appear in the version of SQL SERVER 2016.

 

Introduction to Treemap and Sunburst Charts

The new version introduces the Treemap and Sunburst chart.

  • TreeMap Chart

 

A tree map diagram is a divided set of rectangles which illustrates the different levels with respect to the data size. Concerning the hierarchy, bottom right there is the smallest rectangle illustrating the lesser amount, as opposed to the up and right larger rectangle representing the greatest amount. Even within a rectanglethe above correlation is applied.

  • Sunburst Chart

 

 

In a Sunburst chart, the highest hierarchy level is located in the center and lower levels are represented as rings away from the center. The lowest level of the hierarchy is depicted in the outer ring.

Ability to export report in PowerPoint

The new version of SQL SERVER 2016 provides the ability to export reports also in PowerPoint. This feature provides users the ability to easily and fast create presentations based on data.

In the following image we can see a report before exporting it to PowerPoint.

The following display shows a report after having exported it to PowerPoint.

to be continued......