Introduction to report parts in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2


With report parts, work groups can now take advantage of the different strengths and roles of their team members. For example, if you are responsible for creating charts, you can save your charts as separate parts that you and your coworkers can reuse in other reports. You can publish report parts on a report server or SharePoint site integrated with a report server. You can reuse them in multiple reports, and you can update them on the server.The report part that you add to your report maintains a relationship to the instance of the report part on the site or server by means of a unique ID. After you add report parts from a site or server to a report, you can modify them, independent of the original report part on the site or server. You can accept updates that others have made to the report part on the site or server, and you can save the modified report part back to the site or server, either adding a new report part or writing over the original, if you have sufficient permissions.

Life Cycle of a Report Part


  1. Person A creates a report with a chart that depends on an embedded dataset.
  2. Person A chooses to publish the chart to the report server. Report Builder assigns a unique ID to the published chart. Person A does not choose to share the dataset, so the dataset remains embedded in the chart.
  3. Person B creates a blank report, searches the Report Part Gallery, finds the chart, and adds it to the report . The chart is now part of Person B’s report, along with the embedded dataset. Person B can modify the instances of the chart and dataset that are in the report. This will have no effect on the instances of the chart and dataset on the report server, nor will it break the relationship between the instances in the report and on the report server.


  4. Person C adds the chart to a report and changes this chart in the report from a bar to a pie chart.
  5. Person C has permissions to overwrite the chart on the server and does so, republishing it to the server. This updates the published copy of the chart on the server. Person C does not choose to share the dataset either, so it remains embedded in the chart.
  6. Person B accepts the updated chart from the server. This overwrites the changes that Person B had made to the chart in Person B’s report.

I will continue posting on report parts, how are they used in real environment, how to reuse them and how to resolve conflicts when they occurred.

This post is based on a whitepaper on Report builder 3.0 which you can find in MSDN library under SQL Server 2008 R2 documentation.

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