With ActiveReports Server and ActiveReports 10 Professional Edition, you can share data sets on the server for improved data governance and reusability. We've talked a little about who might want to do this and why. Now we'll talk about how.

In order to share data sets, we must first share a data source on which to base them. The basic work flow looks like this:

SharedDataFlow

DBA Tasks


Create a Shared Data Source


Your DBA creates shared data sources using the ActiveReports Designer. They can use the stand-alone Designer application, or a custom application created using the End User Designer control. The menu provides a connection to the server and access to the Server Shared Data Sources.

Note: An admin account on ActiveReports Server is required in order to set up or edit a shared data source.

Once the information is entered in the dialog, it is saved to the server with the provided name and the extension RDSX (Report Data Source XML). See Server Shared Data Sources for more detailed information.

Shared Data Source Dialog

Create Shared Data Sets


In the same menu, the DBA can add and edit shared data sets. Like shared data sources, an admin account on ActiveReports Server is required in order to create them.

The Server Shared Data Set dialog offers a selection of shared data sources, and takes a query. The query automatically populates fields from the data source, but calculated fields can be added now, and by report developers later. Other tabs have settings for options like case sensitivity, parameters, and filters. See Server Shared Data Sets for more detailed information.

Shared Data Set Dialog

Maintenance


Once the server data sources and data sets are in place, maintenance is done in the same place. The DBA can log in and select an existing data source or data set and edit it, and the changes are propagated to every report that uses them.

ActiveReports Administrator Task


Set Permissions on Data Sets


From the ActiveReports Server Administrator Dashboard, the administrator can change permissions for specific user roles on each data set. See Managing Data Sets for more information.

SharedDataSetPermissions

Report Developer Task


Connect to Data Sets in Reports


Report developers, using either the integrated ActiveReports designer in Visual Studio, or an application containing the End User Designer control, can access any shared data sets from the server to which they've been given Read permission. When creating a Page or RDL report, the Report Explorer has a Server Data Sets node that they can right-click to add a shared data set.

Server Data Sets in Report Explorer

All of the shared data sets to which they have Read permission appear in a dialog.

Add Server Data Set Dialog

Once the shared data set is added, it appears in the Report Explorer under the Server Data Sets node, and can be used in report design like any other data set. Unlike other data sets, the query cannot be edited, but the report developer can set options, and add or delete fields and filters.

For more information on how to design Page and RDL reports, see How To Work with Report Controls and Data Regions.

This is the basic workflow that we envision across a typical organization.