Good reporting depends more on getting the right data out of the database than it does on creating a clean report design and delivering the report in a timely manner. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the workings of relational databases and SELECT queries, don’t worry. Refer back to this chapter from time to time if you need to.
Also, keep in mind that Reporting Services provides you with the Query Builder tool to assist with the query-creation process. You don’t need to remember the exact syntax for the LEFT OUTER JOIN or a GROUP BY clause. What you do need to know is the capabilities of the SELECT statement so that you know what to instruct the Query Builder to create.
Finally, when you are creating your queries, use the same method that was used here; in other words, build them one step at a time. Join together the tables that you will need for your report, determine what columns are required, then come up with a WHERE clause that gets you just the rows you are looking for. After that, you can add in the sorting and grouping. Assemble one clause, and then another and another, and pretty soon you will have a slam-bang query that will give you exactly the data you need!
Now, on to the reports…