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Saturday, April 6, 2013

SSRS AX 2012: Why and how is a Parameter added to report

If we look at the Simple SSRS report we created using dataset CustTableSRS (use below internal link for more details), we observe that while rendering the report - we had to enter a value in the parameters tab. i.e, Value for CustGroup.
So how and why does this value appear?

How does this parameter appear:
The answer can be found if we go to AOT in Dynamics Ax Client. Open the query CustTableSRS which we used as a Dataset for our report.
In the CustTableSRS AxQuery, we find several nodes. Lets concentrate on the DataSources node.

And in the Datasources node, we can find the CustTable from which the data into the report has be rendered from. And we can also see the Fields, AccountNum & CustGroup, which were displayed in the report.

Now if you look at Ranges, we see that CustGroup lies here. That means, the query has a range and is defined by CustGroup.
And this is how the CustGroup parameter is shown and is required while rendering the report.

Why does the parameter appear:
The basic reason, or should say purpose of the CustGroup parameter is - it acts as a filter. If you select CustGroup as 20, all the records with CustGroup as 20. And if you select any other value in CustGroup, all the related fields are shown.

But the actual and main reason for the need of parameter in report is a performance and efficiency reason. Because, we could have defined our own filter in the report to filter the data to any particular scenario. But then what we would have done is we would load all the data and then filter on that data that is on the SSRS server.
But by using the range on the query, means that, the AOT transfers the data after applying the range on the data and then send it to the SSRS server to be rendered on the report. So that way less data is transferred across. So that is the advantage and proper use of Ranges, a.k.a parameters for reports.

Internal links:
SSRS Ax 2012: How to create a simple SSRS report - Link

Information collected from:
AX2009 SSRS 2 The Case of the Mysterious Parameter - Link
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