Tuesday, August 18, 2009

OpsMgr and empty reports – Part 5 – Scheduling / Publishing Reports and some tricks.

Postings in the same series:
Part I   – The Introduction.
Part II  – Tips & Tricks
Part III – Targeted Reports 
Part IV – Examples for Disk Reports

This is the last posting in this series. Besides that won’t it be about empty reports (enough said about that, check out the previous four postings about this topic) but how to publish and schedule the more successful reports. Of course, one knows how to schedule a report or to publish it, but I will add some tricks as well.

  1. Using an offset date in a scheduled/published report.
    When running a report, a From date has to be chosen. For running a non-scheduled/published report a From date can be chosen by hand. However, when a report is being scheduled/published, it is better to use an offset. For instance, when run the report will show data of the last 7 days, or 2 weeks for instance. Before scheduling/publishing a report one has to chose at the From option for Advanced. Here one selects Today minus 7 days for instance. Click the green checkmark an now an offset of 7 days is in order for this report. Also adjust the time to 0:01 for instance.

  2. Adjust the histogram so it matches the timeframe of the report.
    Suppose one runs a report which shows data for the last week or more. When the graphs show data per hour they won’t look nice. So adjust the histogram accordingly in order to get proper graphs.

  3. When using graphs experiment with the styles and 3D.
    For graphs one can chose for a certain style. Default a line and 2D is chosen but there are more styles to chose from. Beware for not making a report looking like a festival on paper, but try and experiment. For certain graphs certain styles AND 3D really do make a difference.

  4. When publishing, give the report a good description. Tell what is does for what server(s) and what timeframe is being used.

  5. When scheduling a Report, there is no option available to send it by mail.
    When for SQL Reporting Services the E-Mail Settings haven’t been configured, there is no E-Mail option available for Scheduled Reports:
    In order to get it running, start Reporting Services Configuration Manager on the server hosting the SRS instance for OpsMgr and configure E-Mail Settings (fifth option in SQL 2K08) and apply these. After a short while the E-Mail option is available for Scheduled Reports:

  6. Using a special folder in the Report Tree.
    Normally when one publishes a report, it ends up in the folder Authored Reports in the Reporting Tree.
    Wouldn’t it be nice when customized reports have their own special folder? This is easily done:

    - On the server hosting the SRS instance for OpsMgr, open IE and browse to http://localhost/reports.
    - The webbased interface of Reports Manager will be shown now.
    - Click the Show Details button on the right.
    - Click the New Folder button on the left. A new page will be shown.
    - Give the new folder a good name. (I always use an underscore as a prefix so this folder will show up on top of the reporting tree) image
    Click OK. Now you go back to the first page. Click on the My Reports folder. The earlier published reports are to be found here.
    - Select them all. Click the button Move. The Report Tree will be shown. Select the newly created folder and click OK:
    Check the OpsMgr Console, Reporting pane (refresh it):
    This can be done with every Published Report.

  7. Copying a Report.
    Suppose, one has made a good report, published it and moved it to a special folder. All is well and now this report is needed for other servers as well. Without diving deep into the SRS component and Visual Studio®, one can open this report in the OpsMgr Console and adjust it in such a manner that it refers to the other server(s). Adjust the name of this report, Publish it and when needed, move it to the appropriate folder.

    I know,  it cost time and might seem a bit too much work. But taking a deep dive into Visual Studio is something different all together. Unless one has colleagues who are really into this AND there a load of reports to be made, than it pays of.

1 comment:

John Bradshaw said...

Hi Marnix,
Just finding out how to email reports from OpsMgr (instead of using the file share method and BLAT) was worth it's weight in GOLD!! Thankyou again for a very helpful post.
John Bradshaw