Efficient performance and effortless maintenance stand as essential pillars of any reporting system. Bold Reports offers a powerful platform for creating and managing reports. By following best practices, you can ensure optimal performance and streamlined maintenance efforts. In this blog, we’ll explore best practices to enhance the performance and maintenance of your Bold Reports reports.
Don’t Create Unnecessary Data Sets
If you are using any unnecessary data sets or have created a data set that is not used in the report, consider removing it. The reporting engine will spend time retrieving the data set from the server, which is an unnecessary process if the data set is not needed in the report. You can also take steps to avoid creating unnecessary data sets during the report creation process.
Implement Shared Data Connections
Shared data source
If you are currently managing data sources within reports, you should consider moving them to the Report Server. If you need to change the server location in the future, you can make the change in one place, and it will be applied to all reports. This will make your maintenance efforts more efficient.
Shared data sets
Shared data sets are a more efficient way to manage data for reports. When you use a shared data set, you only need to create the data set once and then link it to multiple reports. This can save you time and effort, and it can also help to improve the maintenance of your reports.
Limit Record Retrieval
To speed up your reports, try not to load too much data all at once. Loading lots of information can make your reports slow and take a long time to appear. It’s better to load only the data you really need. For example, if you only want to see sales data from the last month, just load that data instead of all the data from the beginning. This will improve the speed and performance of your reports.
Minimize Calculated Fields in Reports
If you need to calculate values in your report, it is better to do the calculations at the query level than at the report level. The database can handle the calculations more efficiently than the Report Server. It will also make your reports easier to maintain because you won’t need to update the calculations every time you change the report. This will boost the report’s performance.
Use Default Templates
Make a default report format and save it on the Report Server. Whenever you need to make a new report, use this format. This helps to keep all your reports looking the same and makes them easier to take care of. This template can have things like your company’s logo, address, when the report was made, and page numbers at the top, and other details at the bottom. It’s easier to keep your reports simple and manageable.
Avoid Data Filtering within Reports
To make your reports faster, use database filters to fetch only the necessary data. Instruct the database with a WHERE clause to obtain the specific data you need upfront. Avoid retrieving all the data and then filtering it at the report level. If you can’t modify the database query, utilize report filters as a backup plan. This will enhance the performance of the report.
Limited Parameter Loading
Use only essential parameters to avoid confusing users. Too many parameters can make it difficult for users to understand what to enter, potentially leading to errors. Consider consolidating related data into a single parameter, such as using a calendar date picker instead of separate year, month, and day inputs. This simplifies data entry for users, enhances the overall user experience, and improves performance.
Caching is like keeping important things close by so you can get them quickly. It’s like when you have your favorite toys right next to you because you play with them a lot. When we cache reports, we store them in a cloud or file storage so we can get them fast, which helps the report work better, because it doesn’t have to do too much at once.
Subreports are convenient for reuse but don’t perform well when there are many instances of subreports during runtime, especially within a tablix. Try to avoid using subreports if possible. If drill-down reports are needed, consider using linked reports to meet your requirements.
Set Default Values for Parameters
It’s best to set default values for report parameters. This way, the report can be previewed immediately without having to enter any values. This makes it easier for users to use the report and ensures that the report always generates meaningful results.
Efficient Component Usage
When creating reports, choose the right elements to communicate your message effectively. Avoid using too many of the same type of element, as this can make the report slow to load and difficult to read. Instead, focus on the elements that will best communicate the most important information to your audience. For example, in a sales report, you might include a table of the best-selling products this quarter and a chart of the overall sales amount. This will ensure that your report is quick and easy to use.
Indexing improves report performance by making it faster to find data. It does this by creating a special index on the data that is used in the report. This index tells the database where to find the data quickly. However, indexes can take up space and require maintenance. It is important to regularly check and adjust indexes.
Remove Blank Pages
Make sure your report does not have any blank pages. Blank pages can make your report look unfinished and can also slow down the rendering time. If your report has blank pages, find out why and remove them.
Use Page Breaks in Large Reports
If your large report takes a while to open, you can make it faster by adding page breaks. This helps the report load quicker and improves performance. For example, yearly reports can be long and hard to handle, but adding a page break at the end of each month can make it open more easily.
Performance and maintenance are key considerations when working with Bold Reports. By following these best practices, you can create reports that not only provide valuable insights but also do so efficiently and with minimal maintenance overhead. From optimizing data sets to making use of default templates and shared data connections, these practices will contribute to a more streamlined and effective reporting process.
Bold Reports offers a 15-day free trial without any credit card information required. We welcome you to start a free trial and experience Bold Reports for yourself. Try it and let us know what you think!