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This book is dedicated to my family. To my children, Jessica and Corey, who gave up many hours of “dad time” during the writing of this book. And especially to my wife, Pam, who, in addition to allowing me to commit to this project, gave countless hours of her own time to make sure things were done right.
About the Author
Brian Larson is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, with degrees in physics and computer science. Brian has 20 years of experience in the computer industry and 16 years experience as a consultant creating custom database applications. He is currently the Chief of Technology for Superior Consulting Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a Microsoft Consulting Partner for Reporting Services. Brian is a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) and a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA).
Brian served as a member of the Reporting Services development team as a consultant to Microsoft. In that role, he contributed to the original code base of Reporting Services.
Brian has presented seminars and provided training and mentoring on Reporting Services across the country. A contributor and columnist for SQL Server magazine, Brian is also currently writing the B.I. Powers column appearing on the SQL Server magazine website. In addition to this book, Brian is the author of Delivering Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2005, also from McGraw-Hill/Osborne.
Brian and his wife Pam have been married for 20 years. Pam will tell you that their first date took place at the campus computer center. If that doesn’t qualify someone to write a computer book, then I don’t know what does. Brian and Pam have two children, Jessica and Corey.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Perhaps this book project was not a journey of a thousand miles, although it seemed that way in the early hours of the morning with a deadline approaching. Be that as it may, it is possible to identify the first step in this whole process. A coworker of mine at Superior Consulting Services, Marty Voegele, was between assignments, on-the-bench, in consultant-speak. Marty was bored, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. Marty had previously consulted to Microsoft and still had a few contacts in the SQL Server area. He made a few phone calls and before long, Marty was again consulting to Microsoft, this time creating something called Rosetta.
As additional work was added, I had the opportunity to take on part of this assignment as well. It was both challenging and exciting working on code that you knew would be part of a major product from a major software company. What was perhaps most exciting was that Rosetta seemed to be a tool that would fill several needs we had identified while developing custom applications for our own clients.
As the beta version of what was now called Reporting Services was released, a brief introductory article on Reporting Services appeared in SQL Server magazine. One of the sales representatives here at Superior Consulting Services, Mike Nelson, decided this would be a nice bit of marketing material to have as we trumpeted our involvement with Reporting Services. One thing led to another and before we knew it, Mike had offered Marty’s and my services to write a more in-depth article for SQL Server magazine. This article became the cover article for the December 2003 issue and it has become known as the “Delightful” article (you’ll have to read the first paragraph of the article to understand why) and it is now available on MSDN.
This was where I grabbed the map and compass, and decided on the next path. Because the magazine article came out fairly well, I decided to write a book on the topic. Marty informed me that writing a 700-page book would probably make his fingers fall off, so I could take this next step on my own. So, here we are today.
All of this is a rather lengthy way of saying that I owe a big thank you to Marty and Mike. Without a shadow of a doubt, this book would not have happened without them. In addition to the contributions already stated, I want to thank Marty for helping to keep me up to speed on Reporting Services information and newsgroup postings. We have learned a great deal preparing presentations on Reporting Services and providing Reporting Services solutions for clients.
I also want to thank John Miller, the owner of Superior Consulting Services. John hired me as his first employee eight years ago to be Superior’s Chief of Technology. He has supported our efforts on Reporting Services and made it a focus area at Superior Consulting. Without John’s founding of Superior Consulting Services and his bringing together people such as Marty and Mike, none of this would have come into being.
I need to extend a big thank you to Brian Welcker and the rest of the Reporting Services development team. Their guidance and patience during development is much appreciated. The information they were able to provide during the creation of this book has enhanced the final product you are now holding.
I also want to thank the staff at McGraw-Hill/Osborne, Wendy Rinaldi and Alexander McDonald, along with the technical editor, Todd Meister. Their assistance, guidance, professionalism, and humor have made this project much easier. The attention that Osborne has given this project has been truly overwhelming.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my wife, Pam, for all her efforts and understanding. Not only did she agree to my taking personal time to write this book, but she took it upon herself to proofread every page and work through every sample report. You, as a reader, are greatly benefiting from her efforts.
I also want to thank you, the reader, for purchasing this book. My hope is that it will provide you with an informative overview, steady guide, and quick reference as you use Reporting Services.
July 17, 2005