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Interactive Sorting (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS)

You can add interactive sort buttons to enable a user to toggle between ascending and descending order for rows in a table or for rows and columns in a matrix. The most common use of interactive sort is to add a sort button to every column header. The user can then choose which column to sort by.

However, you can add an interactive sort button to any text box, not just column headers. For example, for a text box in a row outside a row group, you can specify a sort for the parent group rows or columns, for child group rows or columns, or for the detail rows or columns. You can also combine fields into a single group expression, and then sort by multiple fields.

NoteNote

You can create and modify report definitions (.rdl) in Report Builder 3.0 and in Report Designer in Business Intelligence Development Studio. Each authoring environment provides different ways to create, open, and save reports and related items. For more information, see Designing Reports in Report Designer and Report Builder 3.0 (SSRS) on the Web at microsoft.com.

When you add an interactive sort, you must specify the following items:

  • What to sort: Rows or columns?

  • What to sort by: A field that is displayed in a table column? A field that is not displayed?

  • What context to sort in: For example, you can sort on rows associated with row groups; columns associated with column groups; detail rows; child groups within a parent group; or parent and child group together.

  • Which text box to add the sort button to: In the column header or in the group row header?

  • Whether to synchronize the sort for multiple data regions: You can design a report so that when the user toggles the sort order, other data regions with the same ancestor also sort.

For step-by-step instructions, see How to: Add Interactive Sort to a Table or Matrix (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS).

The following table summarizes the effects you can achieve by using interactive sort buttons.

Action

What to sort

Where to add the sort button

What to sort on

Sort scope

Sort detail rows for a table with no groups

Details

Column header

Dataset field bound to this column

Data region

Sort top-level group instances for a matrix

Groups

Column header

Group expression for parent group

Data region

Sort detail rows for a child group in a table

Details

Child group header row

Dataset field to sort by

Child group

Sort rows for multiple row groups and detail rows in a table

Groups, but you must redefine the group expression

Column header

Aggregate of dataset field to sort by

Data region

Synchronize the sort order for multiple data regions

Groups

Typically, column header

Group expression

Dataset

The report processor applies interactive sort after all data region and group sort expressions are applied. For more information, see Filtering, Grouping, and Sorting Data (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS).

In a table with nested row groups each based on a single dataset field, you can add an interactive sort button that sorts parent group values, child group values, or detail rows. However, you might want to provide the user with the ability to sort the table by both the parent and child group values without having to click multiple times.

To do this, you must redesign the table to group on an expression that combines multiple fields. For example, for a dataset with inventory counts, if the original table grouped by size and then by color, you can specify a single group with a group expression that is a combination of size and color. For more information, see How to: Add Interactive Sort to a Table or Matrix (Report Builder 3.0 and SSRS).

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