How to Get SSRS Reports in Excel Without Exporting from Reporting Services

I’ve recently seen a wave of questions from clients and peers about difficulties exporting reports to Excel lately.  Every few weeks I get a call or question about this.  This topic has been a recurring theme for a very long time and one that I have encountered many times over the past – oh, eleven years or more – using SSRS.  Business users like Excel because it’s what they know and they can reformat and manipulate data in a workbook.  People like Reporting Services because all the hard work of connecting to data sources, writing queries, totaling, grouping and formatting the results gets done once and then all they need to do is run the report.  Users want the best of both worlds and they expect that when they export a report to Excel that they should have their cake and eat it.  In other words; they should be able to get a report, with all the goodness of headers, scrolling regions, pagination, interactive sorting – you name it – to work exactly the same way in Excel.  Many improvements have been made to all of the report rendering extensions over the years and the Excel export story is better than ever but here’s the deal – bottom line – the more rich formatting and advanced functionality that gets designed into an SSRS report, the less likely it is to export all that functionality to Excel or any other rendering format. Continue reading

Different Options to Use D&B Cleanse & Match

Dun and Bradstreet offers services to cleanse and validate business records from their comprehensive reference database.  There are different ways to use the service depending on the scenario and sophistication of the overall solution.  This slide, from my presentation called D&B Premium Options & Solution Scale which you can download and view in the Presentations page on my blog, shows three categories of solutions. Continue reading

Glossary of Terms Used in Microsoft BI Projects

At the beginning of many new BI projects it can be challenging to get everyone using common terminology and language.  This is especially true when people have biases with different vendor products or may have learned to use terms with different meanings.  Miscommunication can be costly on a project so getting everyone on the same page is important.  This list is intended bridge the gap for technical and non-technical members of the project effort. Continue reading