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Trouble Finding the Report Data Window Pane in BIDS 2008 R2/SSDT?

By Garth Jones

In the past, I created a lot of reports by using Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) 2005, but now I’m working on a project for a client where I need to use BIDS 2008 R2/SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). I’m amazed at how backwards BIDS/SSDT has become in this newer version. Why is it so difficult to find basic tools, such as datasets, images, prompts, etc.?

For example, in BIDS 2005, using the default window pane layout, the Report Datasets feature was right there on the left side of the screen next to the Toolbox tab. Notice that only datasets are listed there, whereas images and prompts are organized under the Report tab.

Finding the Report Data Window Pane - BIDS 2005

In BIDS 2008 R2/SSDT, the datasets are nowhere to be found in the default window pane layout.

Finding the Report Data Window Pane - BIDS 2008 R2

To save you from frustration, I’ll show you exactly where you need to enable the Report Data window pane.

Finding the Report Data Window Pane - View Menu

Hiding under the View menu, right at the bottom, is Report Data. Once you enable this feature it will appear on the left-hand side of the screen.

Finding the Report Data Window Pane - Report Data

On the positive side, once you enable Report Data it will stay enabled until the layout is re-set. As well, all of the datasets, images and prompts are organized in this area which makes it handy. It was unfortunate, though, that report properties such as code, references, and variables weren’t also located here.