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System Center Configuration Manager Reporting Unleashed

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System Center Configuration Manager Reporting Unleashed

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  • Copyright 2016
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 416
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-446681-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-446681-1

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager’s SQL Server database contains valuable information about your users, computers, hardware, operating systems, applications, compliance status, and much more. Microsoft has provided excellent tools for extracting this information in meaningful ways, including SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and SQL Server Data Tools Business Intelligence (SSDT-BI). System Center Configuration Manager Reporting Unleashed shows you how to make the most of these tools.

World-renowned System Center reporting guru Garth Jones and his expert coauthors guide you through all facets of custom reporting with System Center. You’ll walk through installing and configuring SSRS, using SQL views to find the data you need, writing SQL queries, creating basic and advanced reports, and using role-based administration to securely deliver those reports to the correct individuals.

Jones brings together reliable, comprehensive, and up-to-date System Center reporting techniques you’ll find in no other book or website. Using this guide, you can consistently retrieve the right information to solve immediate problems and quickly respond to management concerns.

Detailed information on how to…
• Install and configure SQL SSRS for optimal System Center reporting and easier troubleshooting
• Understand the data stored in the ConfigMgr site database
• Efficiently retrieve ConfigMgr data by writing SQL queries in SQL Server Management Studio
• Learn best practices for developing and designing System Center reports
• Create report templates, customize content with report parameters, and embed charts
• Customize logos, color palettes, and other report elements for your own organization
• Construct advanced drillthroughs to provide deeper understanding
• Strengthen report security by integrating ConfigMgr role-based administration into SQL queries
• Leverage reporting to measure KPIs and gain a better understanding of your environment
• Tailor your reports to the needs of end-users or management
• Foreword by Wally Mead, Principal Program Manager, Cireson

The only book entirely dedicated to Configuration Manager reporting, this guide complements Meyler's System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Unleashed, offering far more in-depth coverage of reporting than the single chapter in that book. Most of the content in this new guide will be equally valuable in both System Center 2016 and 2012 environments.


Sample Files

Online content is available to provide added value to readers of System Center Configuration Manager Reporting Unleashed. Some of the files available include XML export files, sample SQL queries, and sample reports. Refer to Appendix C in your book for specific information about what files are available.

Download Sample Files (275 KB .zip)

Sample Content

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 3 and Index)

Table of Contents

Foreword     xiii
Introduction     1

Chapter 1  Installing SQL Server Reporting Services     7

Installing the SQL SSRS Component     8
Configuring SSRS     16
Configuring the SSRS Installation     16
    Configuring Email     24
     Enabling Remote Errors     26
Installing Client Tools for SSRS Reporting     31
     Installing Client Tools     31
     Installing SQL Server Data Tools Business Intelligence     38
Summary     41
Chapter 2  Installing and Configuring Configuration Manager Reporting     43
Creating the Reporting Services Point     44
Using ConfigMgr Security Reporting Roles     52
     Creating a Security Reporting Role     52
     Restricting Access to Reports     57
     Removing a Security Role     58
     Exporting and Importing Security Roles     58
Working with Security Roles     62
     Applying a Security Role to a Security Group     62
     Removing Permissions     70
Accessing ConfigMgr Reports     71
Changing the ConfigMgr Report Logo     72
Demonstrating Creating and Assigning ConfigMgr Security Roles    75
     Working with the Report Reader Security Role     75
     Working with the Software Updates Report Reader Security Role     76
     Working with the Inventory Report Reader Security Role     76
Summary     77
Chapter 3  Understanding Configuration Manager Data     81

Using Data Classes and SQL Views     81
     Using Discovery Classes     82
     Using Hardware Inventory Classes     84
     Using Software Inventory Classes     86
     Using Software Update Inventory Classes     87
     Using Software Metering Inventory Classes     89
     Using Status Message Classes     90
     Using State Messages     91
     Using Collection Data Classes     92
Using Tools for Creating Reports     93
     Introducing SQL Server Management Studio     94
     Connecting to the ConfigMgr Database Server     94
     Executing a Query in SQL Server Management Studio     95
     Using the Object Explorer     95
Demonstrating SQL Server Management Studio    97
     Creating and Executing a Query    98
     Looking at Views     98
Summary     98
Chapter 4  Transact-SQL Primer     99
Understanding the Basic SQL Sections in a Query    100
     Using the SELECT Statement     101
     Using the FROM Statement     101
     Defining Criteria with the WHERE Statement     102
     Using ORDER BY     102
Using Secondary Operators     103
     Using the DISTINCT Keyword     103
     The GROUP BY Operator    104
     Using SQL View Aliases     104
     Using Operators     105
     Column Naming in Query Results     106
Understanding Aggregate Functions     107
     Using the COUNT Function     108
     Using the MIN (Minimum) Function     108
     Using the AVG (Average) Function     108
     Using the MAX (Maximum) Function     108
     Using the SUM Function    108
Understanding Date and Time Functions     109
     Understanding Date Parts     109
     Using Common Date and Time Functions     109
Transforming Data Stored in the ConfigMgr Database    111
     Using the CASE Function    111
     Converting Data with the CONVERT and CAST Functions    112
     Using the ISNULL Function     114
Understanding the SQL JOIN Statement     115
     What Is a JOIN?     116
     Using the ResourceID Column     116
     Using the v_R_System_Valid View     117
     Explaining the JOIN Statements     118
Demonstrating SQL Operators    125
     Running the Sample SQL File     125
     Editing the Sample Query     126
     Creating a Query with Aliases     127
Demonstrating Aggregate Functions     127
     Creating a New Query     127
     Using the COUNT Function     128
Demonstrating Date and Time Functions     128
Demonstrating Data Transforms     129
     Applying the CASE Function     129
     Applying the CAST and CONVERT Functions     130
     Applying the ISNULL Function    130
Demonstrating JOIN Statements     130
     Executing an Inefficient Query     131
     Writing an Efficient Query     131
     Working with the Different JOIN Statements     131
Summary     131
Chapter 5  Basic Report Design     135

Understanding the Purpose of a Report Series     136
     Using a Summarized Data Report     136
     Using a List Report     138
     Using a Detailed PC Report     139
Understanding Report Design Considerations     140
     Providing a Consistent Look and Feel     140
     Printed Versus Interactive Reports     142
     The Benefits of Using Report Templates    142
     The Ability to Export Reports     144
Using Custom Report Requests     146
     Gathering Report Information     146
     Questioning Report Requirements     156
     Report Verification and Delivery     157
     Report Life Cycle and Maintenance     159
Summary     161
Chapter 6  Building a Basic Report     163
Creating a Project     165
Creating a Basic Report     168
     Creating a Data Source     170
     Creating a Dataset     171
     Setting the Size of a Report     173
     Accessing Report Items    175
     Adding a Table to a Report     177
     Previewing a Report     180
Customizing a Report     181
     Adding Background Color to Rows     181
     Alternating Data Row Colors     183
     Adding Interactive Sorting     184
     Setting the Table Header Row to Repeat on All Pages     187
     Adding a Page Header to a Report     188
     Adding a Page Footer to a Report     191
     Adding an Image to a Report     193
Demonstrating Basic Report Creation     195
     Creating a New Project    195
     Creating a Patch Compliance Progression Report     196
     Creating a Computer Hardware Information Report    196
Summary     197
Chapter 7  Intermediate Reporting Concepts    199
Creating Report Templates     200
     Creating a Report Template (8.5×11in)     200
     Creating a New Report from a Template     204
     Exporting Reports from SSDT-BI     206
     Modifying the Page Size of an Existing Report     207
Using Report Parameters     209
     Understanding the Value and Label Fields    209
     Using Default Values     209
     Understanding Cascade Prompts     210
     Using Multi-Value Parameters     210
     Adding a Simple Prompt     210
     Adding a Dropdown Prompt     213
     Adding a Multi-Value Parameter    217
Adding a Chart Item to a Report    220
     Using Column Charts     220
     Using Bar Charts     220
     Using Line Charts     220
     Using Pie Charts     221
     Using Doughnut Charts     221
     Using Other Chart Types     221
     Adding a Chart to a Report     221
     Customizing Chart Items     225
     Adding an Action to a Chart     233
Demonstrating Template Creation     236
     Creating Template Reports    236
     Modifying Page Sizes for Existing Reports     237
Demonstrating Report Parameters     237
     Updating the Patch Compliance Progression Report     237
     Updating the Computer Hardware Information Report     238
Demonstrating Adding Chart Items     238
     Adding a Chart to the Patch Compliance Progression Report     238
     Adding a Chart to the Computer Hardware Information Report    239
Summary     240
Chapter 8  SSRS Reporting Features     241
Using Report Drillthroughs     242
     Adding an Action on a Table Cell’s Value     242
     Adding Hyperlinks to a Report Item     246
     Adding a Subreport Item     247
Creating Custom Color Palettes    258
     Available Out-of-the-Box Color Palettes     259
     Setting Custom Color Codes     259
     Setting Custom Color Codes by Values     263
Adding Reports to SSRS     268
     Manually Adding a Report to SSRS     268
     Publishing Reports from SSDT-BI to the SSRS Website     273
     Creating Report Subscriptions     277
Demonstrating Report Drillthroughs     282
     Patch Compliance Progression Drillthrough Series     282
     Computer Hardware Information Drillthrough Series     283
Demonstrating Custom Color Palettes     284
     Applying a Custom Color Palette to Cycle Through Color Codes     284
     Applying a Custom Color Palette Based on Values     284
Demonstrating Adding Reports to SSRS     285
     Manually Adding Reports to the SSRS Website     285
     Publishing Reports to SSRS     285
     Creating a Subscription     286
Summary     286
Chapter 9  Role-Based Administration and Reporting    287
How Role-Based Administration and Reporting Work     288
Using SQL Queries with RBA     289
     Converting a SQL Query to a ConfigMgr RBA SQL Query     289
     Testing a ConfigMgr RBA SQL Query     292
Using Reports and RBA     295
     Updating SSDT-BI for RBA    295
     Adding the DLL to a Report    296
     Adding an RBA Dataset     298
     Adding RBA Prompts to a Report     300
RBA Tips and Troubleshooting     305
     RBA SQL Query Performance     305
     Troubleshooting and Errors     309
Demonstrating Creating an RBA Report    315
     Converting the Patch Compliance Progression Query to an RBA Query and Testing It     315
     Converting the Patch Compliance Progression Report to an RBA Report     315
     Converting the Computer Hardware Information Query to an RBA Query and Testing It    316
     Adding a Chart to the Computer Hardware Information Report     316
Summary     316
Appendix A  Glossary     319

Glossary of Terms     319
Appendix B  Demonstration Outcomes     323
Chapter 2 Demonstration Outcomes     323
     Working with the Report Reader Security Role     323
     Working with the Software Updates Report Reader Security Role     324
     Working with the Inventory Report Reader Security Role     325
Chapter 3 Demonstration Outcomes     326
     Creating and Executing a Query     326
     Looking at Views     327
Chapter 4 Demonstration Outcomes     328
     Demonstrating SQL Operators    328
     Working with Aggregate Functions     330
     Working with Date and Time Functions     332
     Working with Data Transforms     333
     Executing an Inefficient Query     336
     Writing an Efficient Query     336
Chapter 6 Demonstration Outcomes     338
     Creating a New Project     338
     Creating a Patch Compliance Progression Report     338
     Creating a Computer Hardware Information Report     338
Chapter 7 Demonstration Outcomes    340
     Creating Template Reports     340
     Modifying Page Sizes for Existing Reports    340
     Updating the Patch Compliance Progression Report     341
     Updating the Computer Hardware Information Report     341
     Adding a Chart to the Patch Compliance Progression Report     341
     Adding a Chart to the Computer Hardware Information Report    343
Chapter 8 Demonstration Outcomes    343
     Adding a Patch Compliance Progression Drillthrough Series     343
     Adding a Computer Hardware Information Drillthrough Series    344
     Applying a Custom Color Palette to Cycle Through Color Codes     345
     Applying a Custom Color Palette Based on Values     345
     Manually Adding Reports to the SSRS Website     345
     Publishing Reports to SSRS     347
     Creating a Subscription     348
Chapter 9 Demonstration Outcomes     348
Appendix C  Available Online     351
Creating and Assigning ConfigMgr Security Roles     351
Understanding Configuration Manager Data     352
Transact-SQL Primer     353
Basic Report Design     355
Building a Basic Report     355
Intermediate Reporting Concepts     355
SSRS Reporting Features     357
Role-Based Administration and Reporting     358
Index     361


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