Speaking the language of business intelligence with an Australian accent

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Book Review: Applied Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services

Full disclosure: the author supplied me with a free copy of this book.

AppliedReportingServices2008 Teo Lachev's been hard at it again, toiling to get yet another full-featured technical book out hot on the heels of the actual product RTM. When I read & reviewed his SSAS 2005 book a couple of years ago I remember being impressed not only at the amount of content in the book but also the depth of content so close to RTM. Those who are familiar with Teo's previous books will not be disappointed with his latest work - Applied Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services.

By now I think it's fair to say that most people out there have at least some experience using Reporting Services since the initial release some years ago. If you've had experience with SSRS this book is an excellent reference on the product's new features, a reminder on the older (and updated) ones, and how to go about customizing and extending in a number of different ways. For the complete newbies this book is also a great place to begin and then take some advanced steps soon thereafter.

On average the split between the "this is how you use the product" and the advanced content in technical books seems to be about 80 : 20, sometimes more. Teo's books consistently tip that scale in favor of the advanced stuff, coming out to about 60 : 40, maybe more. There's still plenty of starting-from-scratch foundational content but there's also plenty advanced stuff to satisfy those hungry for a bit more. This is where those already experienced in SSRS will see a lot of value.

Like other Prologika books there are plenty of documented real-world stories & lessons learned to save you finding out the hard way. Each chapter contains plenty of references to pertinent white papers, blog posts and useful applications to assist in administration or development of solutions. Naturally there is a ton of downloadable sample source code too. There's even sample code for creating a Silverlight reporting UI.

Like the late Ken Henderson did in his brilliant Guru's Guide books Teo makes a noticeable effort not to simply repeat information that can be found in BOL. Isn't that what we all want from a technical book?

Worthy of a place on the MS BI geek bookshelf.

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