Exercise: Lookup Books and Authors

This exercise is provided to allow potential course delegates to choose the correct Wise Owl Microsoft training course, and may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any format without the prior written consent of Wise Owl.

The answer to the exercise will be included and explained if you attend the relevant Wise Owl course (sadly, only in the UK for now).

Category ==> SSRS 2016  (33 exercises)
Topic ==> Expressions  (6 exercises)
Level ==> Harder than average
Before you can do this exercise, you'll need to download and unzip this file (if you have any problems doing this, click here for help). Once you've done this:
  1. Go into SQL Server Management Studio;
  2. Open the SQL file you've just unzipped (you can press CTRL + O to do this); then
  3. Execute this script.

This will generate the database that you'll need to use in order to do this exercise (note that the database and script are only to be used for exercises published on this website, and may not be reused or distributed in any form without the prior written permission of Wise Owl).

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Create a report called For Kids Who Can't Read Good and add data sources which connect to the Movies and Books databases.

Create a dataset which selects the following fields from the Books database:

Book dataset

Make sure to include the FilmID field.


Add a table to the report and assign fields so that it resembles the one shown below:

Basic table

Create three empty columns ready to display data from a second dataset.

Create a new dataset which includes these fields from the Movies database:

Film dataset

You can get these three fields from the Film table.


Add a calculated field called ReleaseYear to the dataset which calculates the year in which each film was released.

Add expressions to the relevant columns of the table which use the Lookup function to return the Title and ReleaseYear of the film based on each book.

Lookup film title

Here's how to return the title of a film. Life is much easier when your datasets have columns with matching names!


Add an expression to the Delay column of the table which subtracts the YearPublished field from the value of the Year Released column.

Report Item

You can refer to a text box in the ReportItems collection but check its name first!

Sort the table in descending order of Delay.  You'll need to use an expression to do this and you can't refer to a report item!

Final table

Is that enough time to finish War and Peace?

Save and close the report. 

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