You ever have a paginated report, i.e. a standard old-fashioned report with a big table (tablix, matrix), where you want the users to be able to sort by any column they want? And let’s say one such column is ‘Revenue’ — some money amount where the “biggest is the most important”. Like your top customer, for example.
Now, you know about ‘Interactive Sorting’ right? No?!? Oh it’s awesome! Let me remind you. It’s super easy to configure: just get to the Text Box Properties of the header box of whatever column you want to use, & go to the ‘Interactive Sorting’ tab. Like so:
Make sure you pick the appropriate Field in the Dataset to “Sort by”. Hint: it’s usually the one you’re displaying in that column!
But you know what’s kinda annoying? You can’t dictate a “first sort direction” — it just assumes that the first time you click the sort-arrows, you want ‘Ascending’ (lowest first). Then you can switch to ‘DEscending’ (highest first). This makes perfect sense for alpha values (strings), but not always for numeric values — at least not when you’re dealing with money, when generally the highest dollar amount is the most important!
So let’s make it real simple for the end-user to get the ‘best’ behavior by default. Let’s try to make it sort by our ‘Revenue’ column in DEscending order first. Ready?
It’s so small in that picture you might miss it. I’m doing this, but I’ll add whitespace below for easier reading:
= - Fields!Revenue.Value
..^look, there's the minus sign!
(assuming your viewing device hasn't mangled the fixed-width text)
You could also get more pedantic/readable and spell-it-out like so:
Right? Beautiful. So what does it look like on the report?
Notice my silly hyphenated column names, like ‘Custom-er No’ and ‘Rev-enue’. That’s because those sort-icons take up space within the textbox, and you can’t control it, so the text wraps in a non-obvious manner. Thus, I purposefully added a hyphen and a line-break to the text, so I could control how they looked, instead of leaving it to the wiles of the SSRS render-er.
That’s all there is to it! Happy reporting. =)