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While building parameterized reports in SQL Server Reporting Services 2005 you may come across the following error when viewing the report in Preview.

An error occurred during local report processing.

The value provided for the report parameter ‘YourParameter’ is not valid for its type.

I encountered this error even though I had not specified a default value for the parameter.  So how can it be not valid if it doesn’t exist?

I found a perfect solution in this little article <broken link removed>.

Apparently it has something to do with the Allow blank value checkbox.  In my report the data type for my parameter was Integer.  And as explained in the mentioned article, the Allow blank value checkbox is checked and greyed out.  Luckily the little trick of switching to String, unchecking the checkbox and switching back to Integer solves the error.

But why?  How come that an error occurs due to a setting that is greyed out?  A greyed out setting, doesn’t that mean that its value is not applicable in combination with the other settings?  Apparently not.  Well, I guess that’s a bug then, right?

If someone has a good explanation on this behaviour don’t hesitate to post a comment!


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If you’re using Integration Services 2008 and the Foreach Loop Container in the Control Flow, you’ll very likely encounter this bug.

The Foreach Loop has several enumerators available.  By default it selects the Foreach File Enumerator.  However, as the screenshot below shows, there’s no way to configure it – the Enumerator configuration group just shows blank space.

Foreach Loop Editor with empty Enumerator configuration

This phenomenon is caused by a bug which has been reported on Microsoft Connect.  The workaround, if you really need the File Enumerator, is to select another enumerator first and then switch back to the File Enumerator.  You’ll notice that the regular controls show up and on you go, define that folder name!


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Have you ever had the situation that you wrote an MDX query to get some data out of a cube in Management Studio and executed it and waited and waited and the query never seems to end so you decide to cancel it so you click the red square button and then you wait and wait and wait some more and….  Well, it’s a bug.

And the worst part of it, in my opinion, is that, even when you close your client connection to Analysis Services, the query keeps running on the server consuming CPU and memory and will finally take it down.

The good part is that Microsoft has fixed it in Cumulative Update 2 for Service Pack 2 for SQL Server 2005.  And now of course SP3 can be used as well to fix this situation.

The bug is described here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935832


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Since SP2 for SQL Server 2005 we have some Standard Reports available when right-clicking either server or database in the Object Explorer in Management Studio.  One of my favorites is the Index Usage Statistics report.

If you have the task to optimize performance of your server or database, Microsoft has provided an interesting additional download called the Performance Dashboard.  When you’ve installed the package, there will be some .RDL files and an interesting .CHM file in our SQL Server folder, for instance C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\PerformanceDashboard\.

Among this bunch of .RDLs there is one main report called performance_dashboard_main.rdl.  All other reports are used in drillthrough scenarios from the main Performance Dashboard report.  The main report can be opened by right-clicking your server in SSMS, then choose Reports > Custom Reports… and browse to the RDL.

For a more detailed explanation on the installation procedure, have a look at this Database Journal article.  And for an explanation of each report plus some screenshots, part two of that article is certainly useful as well.

Additional info is also available in the PerfDash.chm file located in the same folder as the RDLs.

A bug

Earlier this week I came across a bug in one of the stored procedures that the main Performance Dashboard report is using.  When I tried executing the report I got the following error:

Msg 535, Level 16, State 0, Line 1
Difference of two datetime columns caused overflow at runtime.

This issue manifests itself when there are open connections which have been open for a period longer than approx. 24.85 days.

You can simulate the same error by executing the following select:

select datediff(ms, '2007-12-27 08:49:50.853', GetDate())

The bug is known by Microsoft, see this Microsoft Connect page, but will not be fixed as these reports are not supported.  In the feedback you can get enough info on how to fix the issue.  I also got the above query from there although I added an m to select milliseconds instead of seconds (which would not generate the error). :-)

I’ve solved it by modifying the usp_Main_GetSessionInfo stored procedure like this:

CREATE PROCEDURE MS_PerfDashboard.usp_Main_GetSessionInfoas
select count(*) as num_sessions,
sum(convert(bigint, s.total_elapsed_time)) as total_elapsed_time,
sum(convert(bigint, s.cpu_time)) as cpu_time,
sum(convert(bigint, s.total_elapsed_time))
    - sum(convert(bigint, s.cpu_time)) as wait_time,
 following line gives an error when login_time > 24 days
 see http://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=324906
 the line: sum(convert(bigint, datediff(ms, login_time, getdate())))
    - sum(convert(bigint, s.total_elapsed_time)) as idle_connection_time,
sum(convert(bigint, datediff(s, login_time, getdate()))) * 1000
    - sum(convert(bigint, s.total_elapsed_time)) as idle_connection_time,
case when sum(s.logical_reads) > 0 then (sum(s.logical_reads)
    - isnull(sum(s.reads), 0)) / convert(float, sum(s.logical_reads))
else NULL
end as cache_hit_ratio
from sys.dm_exec_sessions s
where s.is_user_process = 0x1


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Recently I came across a bug that was introduced in the Reporting Services part of SQL Server 2005 SP2. When previewing the “Print Layout” of the report it would show like this:


The by default Transparent background would show as black instead of white. Obviously this is not very convenient, especially when the text is also black.

Luckily Microsoft was already aware of this issue, its KB is located here.

I managed to solve the problem by installing Cumulative Update 1 (build 3161), which can be requested for download through the following Microsoft page: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935356/en-us.

If you don’t like installing CUs, you could wait until SP3 ships in Q3 this year (this info comes from several sources, just do a search on “sql server 2005 SP3″).


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