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BI Tips: Using Parameters to Control Report Objects

Jan 17, 2015 — Ashia Coleman
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There are endless possibilities on how Parameters can enhance and customize your reports. First off, it’s important to understand the difference between system parameters and user parameters.

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System Parameters are created internally by Report Builder. An example of this is when a parameter is enabled within query designer (see above photo). The system then auto-creates a corresponding parameter to control the filter once the query designer is exited (see below photo).

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User Parameters are created by you, the report developer, and can be used in a number of ways. Put simply, think of a user parameter as a placeholder where you can store values or expressions and then uses that placeholder in other calculations.

A common use for user parameters is to show/hide an object.

In the example below, I created a parameter name Show/Hide and assigned two available values. (To create a parameter, right-click on the Parameters folder.)

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Now I can use these values to control the visibility of any object. Let’s say I have column that I want to show/hide based on this parameter. By right-clicking on the column and selecting “Column Visibility”, I can write an expression based on this new parameter.

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Choose the third option, “Show or hide based on an expression” and click on the “fx” button.

Your expression would be similar to this:

=Parameters!ShowHide.Value = "Hide"

If you have any questions about this feature or BI in general, please contact your Account Manager directly.

Topics: Business Intelligence

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