Want to link datasets? Please vote!

Now that the European Elections are over once again, I’d like to draw your attention to another request for voting.

Using Reporting Services 2008, at this moment it is not possible to link two datasets.  Linking datasets would be really interesting in certain cases.  Imagine you’ve got two datasets, used in two different report data regions.  However, your second data region needs data from the first dataset as well.  As you probably know, a data region can only be bound to one dataset.  Both datasets contain an identical identifier so in theory they could be perfectly linked, if only the IDE would allow it.  Linking two datasets should result in a third dataset that behaves exactly the same as a regular one, which would allow us to bind that one to a data region.

Here’s a small example to clarify the above:

Dataset 1 consists of col1, col2.

Dataset 2 consists of col1, col3.

col1 is an identifier.

If you could tell SSRS to join dataset 1 and dataset 2 on col1, resulting in:

Dataset 3: col1, col2, col3

that would be really great!

This has several benefits:

  • the data is already available in another dataset, why load it twice ?
  • performance: in certain cases combining the two queries into one would result in a slower query (I’m thinking of situations where the database design is not optimal and you’ve got no control over it – sounds familiar ?)
  • developing reports would become an even nicer experience (no need for workarounds such as this one)
  • if Crystal Reports and others can do it, why shouldn’t SSRS be able to do it as well ?

If you Google around (or should I say Bing around ?), you can see that I am certainly not the only one with this question in mind.  In fact, someone has already posted a request on Microsoft Connect and a Microsoft representative said the following:

Thank you for your suggestion.
We are indeed considering adding this kind of functionality in a future release of Reporting Services. We are also monitoring the customer vote count on this particular suggestion to gauge the relative community demand compared to other suggestions.
Thanks,
Reporting Services Team

So if you’d like to see this feature implemented in Reporting Services, click this link and vote!

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