As I begin to explore more and more of the new feature that will be available in SQL Server 2008 R2 I can’t help but think why was this not available before? One of these features is the new item in the Reporting Services Toolbox called Indicator. It finally gives you a little help when it comes to displaying Analysis Services KPIs in a Reporting Services report.
Before now you could display KPIs by importing your own image and writing some conditional expressions in the reporting expression language to get what you want. Generally when you create a KPI in Analysis Services you are going to return a -1, 0, or 1 to represent if your business is doing poorly (-1), average (0), or performing well (1). This is interpreted in tools like Excel in a nice format where it actually shows an indicator image automatically to represent each number. Reporting Services However just gives you the numbers.
In R2 you now have the Indicator tool that can handle KPI statuses nicely. A variety of choices are available to represent your KPIs status and/or trending.
After some small configuration to map the -1, 0, and 1 to a value you’re good to go! This is definitely better than writing the conditional expression.
The result is a nice looking report that you can even build an action on to jump to another report or URL.