Introduction

Report Builder 3 is built into SQL Server 2008 R2 report manager and is a click once application.  It is also available as a separate download in the feature pack.

At the time of writing the November ctp is the latest verison which can be downloaded from here, and the relevant feature pack is here

Shared Report Parts

Before you start this example you’ll need to create a report with stuff in that you want to share e.g. charts , maps and tablix (the all in one replacement for table and matrix data controls in SQL Server 2008 onwards). 

Having done this go to the main menu in Report Builder…

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and select Publish report Parts…

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I’ve gone fo rthe review option and now I can see what I want to share..

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notice that some things (shared datasources) are greyed out, because they are already shared, I’cc come back to that later.

so now I can publish and be damned, but ne aware that before I did this I set the options in Report Builder to remember my report server and to publish the report parts to a specified folder..

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So now those components are in that folder. Notice too that I took the trouble to change their names from tablix1, map2 to something maningful before I did this..

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To use them in a new report you need to find them and you do this from the report parts gallery by selecting it in view or clicking on the tab behind properties on the right hand side of the design surface..

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You will need to connect to the report server and then click on search (you don’t need to enter a search term) to bring up the report parts available as I have done in the screenshot above

Now you can drag them on to the design surface and then simply run the report.

However what if someone changes a report part you are using in your report?  You can elect to use the new version or not by first checking to see what’s changed, by selecting the check for updates option on the main menu..

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You’ll get a warning telling what’s changed..

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and clicking on view updates will show you the details..

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Now you can select update to use the latest version or simply decide not to.

Shared Data Sets

For shared data sets you either..

Select New  from the main Report Builder menu..

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and from the wizard select Shared Data Set

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or select an existing one and open in Report Builder to edit it. 

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From the manage option above you can also cache it and select a schedule to keep the cache as up to date as you need..

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so a powerful way to store one set of data on the Report server which can then be consumed in many reports using this shared dataset.