“They’ll probably still just ask me for their reports…” I hear students say when I teach them about Report Builder in SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (SSRS).
It’s a reasonable fear. Their managers have always asked them for reports. Sometimes they just ask for data and then manipulate it in Excel to make it look the way they want – but on the whole, the way it’s done is to send a request to the developers, asking for a new report.
And Report Builder should change that. After all, you’ve just spend time putting together the perfect model for it to use, so that your users see the right things to query. But still there’s a fear.
So – if you’re trying to get people to use Report Builder, what can you do?
Well, for starters, use it in front of them – preferably on their own machine. Show them just how easy it is to get at the data.
And secondly, create a favourite for the Report Builder How-To Topics page in Books Online (on the web). And show it to them. If they want to align the values within a cell or text box, they can follow the link. If they want to format a date field, they can follow the link. After all, they don’t really want to have to wait for you to come and tweak their reports – they do want to do it themselves.