In this chapter, we explore some of the flashy features of Reporting Services. These are the features that get us techies excited. If you do not say “Wow!” after seeing at least one of these features in the reports created in this chapter, then we (the developers at Microsoft and I) are not doing our jobs. Just to clarify, the “Wow!” does not need to be said out loud. Simply thinking “Wow!” in your head counts just as much.
Getting you to say, or think, “Wow!” is not ultimately the goal of the Microsoft developers who created Reporting Services or the goal of this author as he writes this chapter. The developers who create games for Microsoft can be satisfied with eliciting a “Wow!” from their clientele and consider it a job well done. The developers who create business intelligence tools for Microsoft have to aim a bit higher.
If you develop business intelligence tools, you need to go beyond the “Wow!” to the “Ah ha!” The “Wow!” comes when you see a feature of a software product and think, “Wow! That is really cool!” The “Ah ha!” comes when you see a feature of a software product and say, “Ah ha! That is how we can make that report work just the way we need it to,” or “Ah ha! That is how we can turn that bit of data into meaningful business intelligence.” Only when we hear the “Ah ha!” can we be satisfied.
So, don’t be shy when that moment comes along. When you get to that “Ah ha!” feature you have been searching for, say it nice and loud. I want to hear it, so I can go home happy.