Recently in Future Conferences Category

This entry focuses on the code developers add to reports make them work, look better or expose custom functionality. Sometimes it’s simply adding green-bar but when these expressions get complex or have to be incorporated in many places in the report or in many reports (or both) productivity suffers.

I spent considerable time at the recent MVP Summit here in Redmond (Feb 16-19th) trying to get some answers to a number of nagging questions and issues that I and my customers keep asking. Windows Live Meeting (WLM) was high on the agenda. Ironically, several of the Microsoft employees with whom I spoke were fighting many of the same WLM issues but they could get no help at all because they didn’t have support accounts and could not get past the script-readers.

The company that hosts my monthly webinars (9-18 hours a month) hires a third-party company that hosts and records the Windows Live Meeting sessions. They and I have been unable to adequately address any of the following issues: (Updated Feb 22)

Webinars Next Week

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Progressive Business and Beta V have partnered together to present another series of technical webinars. The current series focuses on SQL Server and Reporting Services and consists of six 90-minute talks given two a day for three days. The next scheduled offerings are September 9-11, October 13-15 and November 2-5th. See the following link for an outline and pricing details. Note that this series includes a copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Studio and SQL Server (7th Edition) as well as a copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services—once we get them from the publisher…

Visual Studio, SQL Server & Reporting Services: 6 High Impact Training Sessions
This is a set of 6 seminars given in two parts—one that focuses on SQL Server, the second on Reporting Services. This high-impact series of training webinars is for anyone who wants to leverage Visual Studio, SQL Server and Reporting Services best practices—learning what works, what doesn't and why. These sessions are for developers, architects and managers who want to know how and (more importantly) when to leverage the power and benefits of SQL Server and Reporting Services.

 

Progressive Business and Beta V have partnered together to present another series of developer-centric webinars. The current series focuses on SQL Server and Reporting Services and consists of six 90-minute talks given two a day for three days. The next scheduled offerings are September 9-11, October 13-15 and November 2-5th. See the following link for an outline and pricing details. Note that this series includes a copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Studio and SQL Server (7th Edition) as well as a copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services.

Visual Studio, SQL Server & Reporting Services: 6 High Impact Training Sessions
This is a set of 6 seminars given in two parts one that focuses on SQL Server, the second on Reporting Services. This high-impact series of training webinars is for anyone who wants to leverage Visual Studio, SQL Server and Reporting Services best practices- learning what works, what doesn't and why. These sessions are for developers, architects and managers who want to know how and (more importantly) when to leverage the power and benefits of SQL Server and Reporting Services.

The webinars I’ve already recorded (and those I’m going to present) can be found by visiting this site. Look under the “IT” heading to see links to the content. The recorded sessions might be repeated in the future but the recording are available:

CLR Executables: Stored Procedures, Functions, Aggregates, & User-Defined Types
(presented May 13, 2009)

  • This session will discuss how to create CLR executables in Visual Basic.NET and C#. We'll see how to create CLR stored procedures, functions, aggregates as well as user-defined types. The session demonstrates CLR executable development through use of Visual Studio as well as SQL Server Management Studio.

Hitchhiker's Guide to Visual Studio & SQL Server Reporting 

(presented April 7, 2009)

  • This session discusses how Visual Studio developers can leverage the power of the Report Definition Language to manage and generate client-side reports or launch SQL Server Reporting Services reports. We'll discuss the latest MicrosoftReportViewer control as well as the Business Intelligence toolset exposed in Visual Studio 2008.

Managing and Writing High-Performance SQL Server Stored Procedures
(presented March 12, 2009)

  • Stored procedures have been recognized by database administrators and developers as the most efficient mechanism to access and protect SQL Server databases. When written and executed correctly, these server-side blocks of code can significantly improve performance, security and developer efficiency.

 

I’m scheduled to give another in a series of webinars on May 13th. This one’s on SQL Server Common Language Runtime (CLR) executables. It’s sponsored by Progressive Management Audio Conferences so you’ll have to pay the fee ($199) to get in. See their website to get access to the feed.

Nope, despite the fact my picture is in the brochure, I’m not going to be there. It seems they have run low on funds and had to cut back on hotel rooms which cut back on conference rooms that cut back on speakers. I would make sure your favorite speaker is still attending. I expect he or she is as they kept the core folks that draw the most attendees. Perhaps I’ll see you in Vegas in the fall…

 

The ReportViewer Oversight(s)

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In case no one noticed, I’m a fan of the ReportViewer control. While it’s not free like SQL Express (you have to actually pay for one of the non-Express versions of Visual Studio to get it), it does give developers a way to design, tune, test and deploy reports along with their applications—either ASP.NET or Windows Forms—without Reporting Services. And no, the control is not included the WPF toolbox. IMHO, this is a major oversight. Yes, yes, the WPF folks are busy making the interface as similar to Windows Forms or ASP as they can, but it seems to me that they should also make sure that some of the newer (and more important) controls are implemented.

However, in my opinion, that’s not the biggest oversight. It seems that the new version of the ReportViewer control (now renamed “MicrosoftReportViewer” control because there’s also now a Come to my workshop at Developer Connections in Vegas...“CrystalReportViewer” control), is not really all that new. When Microsoft’s Reporting Services team got inundated with comments, gripes and over-ripe tomatoes from RS developers, they (wisely) chose to reengineer the report processor. This required some significant changes in the “language” the report processor interprets—the RDL. This “2nd generation” RDL supports the new Tablix control, rich text and lots of other features. The newly release Visual Studio 2005 SP1 BI tools shows off this functionality and dutifully creates 2nd generation RDL. The problem is, the ReportViewer control that’s shipped in Visual Studio 2008 is roughly the same as the one in 2005 and it does not include the updated report processor. This means it can’t process 2nd generation RDL.

This also means that the reports you build with the VS BI tools cannot be imported into VS 2008 ReportViewer projects. This is not scheduled to be fixed until Visual Studio 2010.

If you think this is an issue, I encourage you to go to Microsoft Connect and vote on the bug I have raised there to try to get Microsoft to fix this before VS 2010. See https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=380814

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