How to insert a live SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services report into a PowerPoint slide

Capture

For Memorial Day, I wanted to revisit one of the most popular blog posts I’ve written, which was about how to insert a live Datazen dashboard into a PowerPoint slide.  As we transitioned the Datazen functionality in SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services, I wanted to make sure this still worked with Reporting Services.  Let’s walk through the steps again you’d use to enable this functionality (you’ll need Office 2013/2016 or Office365 for this) –

1.  Go to the Insert Tab in PowerPoint.  You should see the Store Add-In in the ribbon.  Click it to open the App Store –
OfficeSnip
2.  A pop-up will open with the apps available in the store.  You can now run a search for the app you wish to use
image

Type Web Viewer into the search bar and hit Enter.  You see the Web Viewer app created by Microsoft, which is what we’ll use.

image

I added the app to my slide and then entered the address for my Reporting Services site.  And this is what came up –

image

Curses!  But wait – I don’t really want to go to the home page and browse to my report.  I want to go to directly to my report, so I want to use the report address and the embed functionality we introduced in RC1.  When I do that, it works perfectly –

Capture2

I know what you’re thinking – does this mean it also works for paginated reports in Reporting Services using the embed url?  Yes it does!

image

Also, all of your security rules are still active on your reports, meaning you could provide this powerpoint deck to several people who would then only see the reports and/or data they have access to (row level security will depend on the security rules you have in place in your organization).

I’ve done hundreds of customer visits in the last few years, and I’d be hard-pressed to think of one that wouldn’t have a use case this scenario would readily address.  And it seems to cover the objections I’ve heard previously –

– It’s an app made by Microsoft
– It respects your security in Reporting Services, so it can be shared freely if needed and have people see only the reports/data they have access to
– You can still use your deck offline if you’d like by selecting the “Show as Saved Image” functionality in the app flyout menu in the upper right-hand corner (shown below)
image

This is a great way to get a ton of additional value out of your Microsoft investment at your organization, and I encourage all you to give a try.  Until next time!

SQL Server Mobile Reports – Free Maps of the Week, Part 2

image

Hi everyone – as promised last week, I have a new set of free maps I’ve pulled together to share with all of you as we get even closer to the GA of SQL Server 2016.

Use the links below to download the zipped map files.  You’ll need to unzip them and follow the directions here to use them in your mobile reports.

World Countries – Download
Europe – Download
Bosnia-Herzegovina – Download
Bulgaria – Download
Spain – Download

Remember, these maps aren’t officially supported by Microsoft in any way.  But if you find these helpful, be sure to check back next week for even more free maps.  Have a great rest of your holiday weekend (well, if you’re in the US, anyways)!

SQL Server Mobile Reports – Free Maps of the Week

image

Hi all – hopefully, you’re as excited as I am about the upcoming GA of SQL Server 2016 on June 1 and with it, the brand new version of Reporting Services.  We’re finishing up the official release of the Mobile Report Publisher as well, and with that in mind, I wanted to introduce a new blog series I’m doing here.  I’ve taken the time to put together some custom map files you can use for your mobile reports.  I’ll post the files here each week or so.  These will be free for you to download/share, use or repurpose however you’d like.  I’ll post more as I get more created – these maps aren’t officially supported by Microsoft in anyway, so keep that in mind as you download and use them.   I just thought you might find them valuable, and frankly, I needed to do a new blog post.  It’s been awhile.

Use the links below to download the zipped map files.  You’ll need to unzip them and follow the directions here to use them in your mobile reports.

Africa – Download
Argentina – Download
Asia – Download
China – Download

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the free maps.  Be sure to keep following this blog to grab more maps in the future!

How to use custom thumbnails with Mobile Reports in SQL Server 2016

Happy Sunday folks!

In the new Reporting Services web portal, you see thumbnails for each of the mobile reports you’ve published to the server.  Well, here’s a neat hack that allows you to update your mobile reports with custom thumbnails.  Keep in mind, the normal disclaimer applies around the fact it isn’t officially supported and if you break something, you’re on your own, etc.

1. Download the latest version of the Mobile Report Publisher
2. Create your mobile report
image
3. Save it locally vs. publishing it the server.  It doesn’t matter if you use either Excel data or shared datasets from your server.

image

4.  Find the file location where you saved it locally.image

Now change the file extension from .rsmobile to .zip
image

5.  Double-click on the .zip file to view the contents
image

You’ll see two image files called thumbnail.png and thumbnail-phone.png that look like the following and were generated when I first created this report.  These are the files you’ll want to replace, and you can replace one or both of them.

image        thumbnail-phone

6. Now, pick new images to use.  They need to be named the same as the ones with the file, and need to be in the .png format.  Ideally, they’ll have the same dimensions as the default files, which are –

thumbnail.png file – 1150×555
thumbnail-phone.png file – 550×825

That isn’t a requirement for this to work, but it does mean your pictures might look a little distorted if they don’t match.

I chose one of my son’s favorite stuffed animal to use as the new thumbnail.png file.

portrait

Once I saved the file and renamed it, I simply dragged it into the still zipped folder and answered yes when prompted to overwrite the existing file.  You see it has replaced the existing file, and the file size has increased significantly.  Something else to be aware of if you do this for multiple files.

image

Now, I can rename the file extension back to .rsmobile and then upload the file to my Reporting Services server.
image

image

Once uploaded, it will automatically recognize it is a mobile report based on the file extension, and put it in the right category in the portal.

image

I’ll also now see the new thumbnail I added to the file in place of the one generated by the Mobile Report Publisher.image

Here’s how it looks in My Favorites
image

And when I click the report tile, the report still renders as I’d expect in the browser:
image

One thing to keep in mind – if I were to edit this report and re-publish or upload it, new thumbnails will get generated and overwrite the custom one(s) I added to the file.  So I’d have to do this each time I make changes to the report and re-save it.  That’s why this is a hack though, right?  🙂

Hopefully you enjoy this and have some fun playing around with this concept.  Have a great week!