I'm currently using Microsoft SQL Report Builder to create a custom report for my data. I have a table of customers, a table of devices and a table of jobs (each customer has a couple of devices, each device has a couple of jobs).

What I want is a list of customers, and when I click on a customer it should expand and show all associated devices, and when I click on the device it should expand and show all jobs.

Should I just use a list in a list in a list? Or should I embed a subreport inside my list? Should I split all 3 tables in different datasets? Or just use 1 dataset?

I imagine there are a lot of different options (I did my research online) but there seems to be little consensus about whether it's a good idea to use subreports or not for example.


1 Answer 1


In my humble opinion, it depends on the complexity of the details view.

If I'm showing a sample list of values in each view then I'd rather use a List inside a List, inside a List.

For example:

[+] Customer Id + Customer Name
    [+] DeviCe Id + Device Name
        | Job Id Job | Job Description |

But, if the details view have a more complex structure, like graphics + tables or matrix, then I use a subreport.

  • Thanks for you opinion on this matter. It makes sense to me. I am going to use a list in a list for now. Is it a good idea to have all tables (with their columns) in 1 dataset or should I have different datasets for each list?
    – Edeholland
    Dec 5, 2016 at 10:43
  • You can use a single select if you're using a fully related tables. Let me point you this article of Patrick LeBlanc with a full example in this question. blogs.technet.microsoft.com/microsoft_in_education/2013/03/09/…
    – McNets
    Dec 5, 2016 at 10:48

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