Reporting Services Query Designers

Reporting Services provides graphical and text-based query designers to help you build queries for each data source type in your report.

Some data sources support graphical designers that help you build a query interactively. Other data sources use a text-based query designer. By using a graphical query designer, you can drag metadata items that represent the underlying data on a data source to the query design surface. By using a text-based query designer, you can type command text into a query pane. You can change from a graphical query designer to a text-based query designer by clicking the text-based query designer icon on the toolbar.

The data source types that are available in your report are determined by the Reporting Services data extensions installed on your client or report server. For more information, see RSReportDesigner Configuration File and RSReportServer Configuration File.

A data processing extension and its associated query designer can differ in support for data sources in the following ways:

  • By query designer type. For example, a SQL Server data source supports both the graphical and text-based query designers.

  • By query language variation. For example, a query language such as Transact-SQL can differ in syntax depending on the data source type. The Microsoft Transact-SQL language and the Oracle SQL language have some variation in syntax for a query command.

  • By support for the schema part of a database object name. When a data source uses schemas as part of the database object identifier, the schema name must be supplied as part of the query for any names that do not use the default schema. For example, SELECT FirstName, LastName FROM [Person].[Person].

  • By support for query parameters. Data providers differ in support for parameters. Some data providers support named parameters; for example, SELECT Col1, Col2 FROM Table WHERE <parameter identifier><parameter name> = <value>. Some data providers support unnamed parameters; for example, SELECT Col1, Col2 FROM Table WHERE <column name> = ?. The parameter identifier might differ by data provider; for example, SQL Server uses the "at" (@) symbol, Oracle uses the colon (:). Some data providers do not support parameters.

  • By ability to import queries. For example, for a SQL Server data source, you can import a query from a report definition file (.rdl) or from a .sql file.

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