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SSRS Display question mark when date is blank

Applies to:
  • Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services 2012
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Premium
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise

What?
So I have a column in an SSRS report which displays a date. Being rather pernickety, I would like a question mark to display if there is no date to populate the field.

Why?
At the moment, the expression in there is something like this:

  1.  =Format(Fields!MyCompletionTime.Value, "dd/MM/yyyy HH:mm:ss") 
  2.  -- yields 11/02/2014 11:21:32 
Sounds good, where's the problem?

SSRS No Delay for First Report of the Day

What?
This article describes a solution our reporting server administrators found to cut the loading time of the first report of the day.

Why?
Take any SSRS report, if one of us was the first to run it on that day, it would take an additional 60 seconds to get with it and display the report. Any subsequent running of the report loaded it almost immediately.

How?

SSRS Stop Scrolling Behind

Applies to:
  • Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012
  • Microsoft Business Intelligence Development Studio

What?
I recently revamped our standard report with a new template comprising of a single Tablix which contained the images of the corners and sides of the report. It looked beautiful if simply displayed on a single page (the top half of the page) as long as the end-user doesn't scroll. If the page was scrolled, what should display went behind my report and instead the whole report acted as a header on top of the scrolling content and would only ever display, the top rows of the dataset.

Why?
A lot of articles out there on the net are offering solutions that do the exact opposite. Basically, I want the opposite result of "Fixed headers while scrolling".

How?

SSRS Change Background Color of Image

What?
Sounds easy but actually if you use an image which has transparent areas, ie. has one color which will be transparent, the transparent pixels will be colored in with the page background color.

Why?
I want an image to display per row as a status marker for 3 different types of results: Success, Failure, Unknown. My images are circles with the background being transparent. I want the first column to display an image based on the status result.

If I simply insert an image, the report would use the background color of the report.
How?

SSRS: Performance Improvements: SELECT TOP

What?
This article details a method we used on a search form in a SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) environment. The requirement (amongst others) was that the report ran in less than a few seconds.

Analyzing the report through the ReportServer databases (internal auditing) only showed how long the SQL query would take to recover the data and present it in a report, which would average about 0.4 seconds.

We're obviously not interested in shaving off time from 0.4 seconds; no, we're more interested in the fact that 0.4 Microsoft seconds seems to translate to about 10 minutes in the real world. Where do the extra 9 minutes come from? Not the SQL as this runs in 00:00 seconds in SQL Server Management Studio. Not the internal processing and rendering as the report server says it did this in 0.4 seconds. So where's the problem?

How?

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