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  • How to Display the Elapsed Processing Time of a Report in SSRS

    The amount of time it takes to process a report can be useful information for performance auditing. Although there isn’t a built-in field in SQL Server Reporting Services that holds the elapsed processing time, it’s easy to create this functionality using the ExecutionTime built-in field and the Now VB.Net function in SSRS.

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    The ExecutionTime is the moment when report processing starts. When used in the expression of a textbox, the Now function returns the time when the report is rendered. Rendering comes right after report processing. This means we can easily calculate the processing time simply by subtracting Now from ExecutionTime.

    Function Implementation

    One way to implement the logic is to put it into a custom function and then call the function from the expression of a textbox. This is clean, the code is easy to read and so it’s also easy to maintain. The downside is that you have more than one component to the solution; so, if you want to copy this functionality into other reports, you’ll have to copy and paste both the function and the textbox. My preference would be for this approach because “clean and easy to maintain” usually leads to smoother running programs!

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    If you’ve never created custom code in SSRS before, read my article on Using Custom Code in SSRS to see how it’s done. Then create the following function that will both calculate the elapsed processing time and return it as a string in the format mm:ss.

    Single Expression Implementation

    Another way to implement the logic is to use a single expression in a textbox (right-click the textbox and select Expression…) that does everything. This is a bit messier, the expression has a whole bunch of things piled into it making it harder to read and maintain, but all you have to do to put it into another report is copy just that one textbox containing the following expression, which also displays the results in the format mm:ss.

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    Peter Avila
    SQL Server Instructor – Interface Technical Training
    Phoenix, AZ

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