Free custom map shapes for SQL Server Mobile Reports and Grab Bag Part 1


Happy Saturday to all!

As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted on my personal blog in some time (although I have been posting over at the SQL Server Reporting Services team blog fairly regularly).  If you’re wondering why, just watch the presentation Riccardo Muti gave at Ignite this past week, where he showed an early preview of publishing Power BI Desktop reports to SQL Server Reporting Services.  We’ve all been extremely hard at work on that, but with the (undefeated) Philadelphia Eagles off this weekend, I wanted to take some time to do a “catch-up” post where I touch on a number of topics.

1. There is a new version of the SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher now available for download.  I am planning on doing a post on the official team blog about this (and yes, it will list all of the changes that were included in the release), but I wanted to bring one item to your attention that was addressed in this release since this was something multiple customers asked us to address –

Dataset column names should be made more presentable before displayed in mobile report

Previously, if you had column names with underscores in your dataset, there was no way to remove those underscores or show a user friendly name for your report.


Now, when you create a mobile report, you’ll see that we now hide the underscores when presenting the column name in the report.


You’ll also need to install the latest cumulative update for SQL Server 2016 to make sure mobile reports you create and view on the server reflect this change as well.

2. A number of people had been looking for ways to more easily build custom brand packages for SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services.  A new third party tool is now available on CodePlex called the SSRS Branding File Editor that lets you use an Excel template to do everything around that process.  Folks who’ve tried it have let me know they’ve found it quite useful, so I’d encourage you to take a look.

3. We recently released an update for Report Builder (that I wrote the blogpost on) where we alluded to some improvements that were related to shared datasets.  These should help significantly with shared datasets built against SQL Server Analysis Services data sources for your Mobile Reports, especially if your datasets have parameters in the query.  However, because a few of these fixes also required some updates on the server, you won’t be able to take advantage of all of them until we have our next server update sometime later this year.

4. I pulled together some of the custom map shape files previously found on the sample Datazen dashboards, including the jumbo jet and stadium map files.  You can download these for use in your mobile report projects if you’re interested.  As usual, these maps aren’t officially supported by Microsoft in any way.

5. One of the pieces of feedback we’ve gotten recently is folks asking about the documentation for Mobile Reports and KPI’s in SQL Server 2016.  While the best place to get started for this is the MSDN documentation, it sounded like folks were looking for more advanced topics as well.  Feel free to leave me a comment if there is a specific topic or walkthrough you’d be interested in seeing a post on, or even having it added to the MSDN documentation.  I can’t promise I’ll be able to tackle every topic right away, but I’d definitely would like to.

Hmm – I wasn’t planning on focusing just on mobile reports this post, but that’s how it turned out.  I guess that means I’ll just need to do a part 2 of this post as well.  Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

3 thoughts on “Free custom map shapes for SQL Server Mobile Reports and Grab Bag Part 1

  1. As a newbie in Datazen/Mobile BI, I would like to see how some of the queries are derived for the Datasets in the examples in Datazen. I’ve struggled with making certain queries return a dataset that will populate a comparative time chart where there are levels of goals available for a salesperson to hit. No manner of query/dataset will produce what I need. Advance training docs out there would be great especially with the limitations of datazen graphs and charts! I’ve learned a lot from reading your blogs and appreciate you taking the extra time to build them!


  2. Chris. I really enjoy your blog and have gotten some great info for Datazen. I think it would be useful to see the queries that populate some of the Datasets for the Sample Dashboards. It can be a challenge (for me being new at TSQL, datazen, dashboards) to know exactly how to write things so the Dashboard, especially the time navigator, will accept the data. After producing almost of dozen of these for work, I find it can be a bit exasperating building the dataset. Maybe a graph by graph guide on the best way to build the data for them? BTW…my fav was the USER log to see who was utilizing the Dashboards.


    1. Hi Patti,

      Thanks for this feedback and I’ll definitely look at covering those topics – I have some good news on the user log front that I hope to be able to share with you on this blog (and elsewhere!) in the near future. Stay tuned!


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