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Overview of Custom Reports

Updated: December 6, 2010

Applies To: Operations Manager 2007 R2

Custom reports are intended for advanced users who are comfortable creating their own reports by using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services and SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio, SQL Server Reporting Services Report Builder, or Microsoft Visual Studio Report Designer.

If report types using prebuilt queries do not deliver the reporting data that you need, use custom reports by creating the queries yourself to retrieve just the information you want. For example, you can create a query that consolidates the data from multiple objects into a single report. You can then customize the appearance of the report, using one of several tools or programs that include Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence Development Studio, Visual Studio Report Designer, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services Report Builder, or Excel, to fit the needs of your organization. In addition, you can localize custom reports for multiple languages. After you have deployed the report, you and other users can run the report like any other report.

Considerations for Choosing the Appropriate Type of Report

Before you create a custom report, you must first decide what information you need in the report. Determine what counters you want to monitor, and what parameters you want to report on. For example, if you are reporting on availability, what time period should the report cover? If you are reporting on performance, what is the acceptable threshold for the counter? Next, determine the appearance of the report. Simple numeric data might be sufficient, or you might require a more advanced graph that uses customized images, such as your corporate logo.

After you have concluded these determinations, collect feedback from users who will use this report. Their input might lead you to revise the report design.

  • If your report concerns one type of data, such as an Availability Report, see the existing Generic Reports. All counters and performance data stored in the data warehouse are available through one of the generic reports.

  • If your report uses specific parameters that users should not change, for example, availability data over the last week, use a linked report. Both generic and linked reports can be created and used without knowledge of SQL Server or the data warehouse. For more information about linked reports, see Linked Reports.

  • If your report uses multiple types of objects, or multiple types of data, such as performance and availability in a single report, or if you need a report that has a customized appearance, use a custom report. Because custom reports require a higher level of familiarity with Transact-SQL and the data warehouse schema, we recommend that you only use a custom report if your report has these requirements and you are an advanced user.

Prerequisites for Custom Reports

To write a custom report, you must install the following services and programs on your report development server:

  • System Center Operations Manager 2007 Reporting Services

  • SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services or SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services

  • SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence Development Studio or SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence Development Studio, SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services Report Builder or SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Report Builder, or Visual Studio 2008 Report Designer

Overview of Custom Report Authoring

To write a custom report, follows these basic steps:

  1. Write a Transact-SQL query that retrieves the information that you need.

  2. Add parameters to the query for operators to use to run the report.

  3. Design the report in SQL Server Report Designer or Visual Studio Report Designer.

  4. Optionally, load the report definition and Report Definitions Language (RPDL) file into a management pack for distribution.

  5. Import the report or the management pack.

For more information about how to create custom reports, see Creating Custom Reports.

In This Section

Setting up the Environment
Describes the installation requirements for setting up Operations Manager 2007 Reporting Services and explains how to create a read-only user and how to create a new data source.

Creating Custom Reports
Provides the background and walkthroughs for creating custom reports and describes how to write a custom query, how to use the Business Intelligence Development Studio, and how to set up the report parameters area.

Deploying Reports
Describes how to deploy reports to the Operations Manager Reporting Server or to save to custom management packs for deployment to other Operations Manager installations.

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