SSRS reports not showing null values

I had an SSRS report that was not displaying the right data.  I narrowed it down to, that the NULL values were not showing up; even though I did LEFT JOINs, and used the ISNULL() function in both the SELECT and GROUP BY clauses.  The issue though was with my WHERE criteria.

My criteria was something similar to:

WHERE field_name LIKE @parameter + ‘%’

The solution was to put the ISNULL() function in the WHERE clause!

WHERE ISNULL(field_name,”) LIKE @parameter + ‘%’

What made it harder to troubleshoot was, the SQL worked fine in Management Studio (it gave the expected results) … however only in Reporting Services was it not showing the right values.

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ssrs no dependent items for shared dataset

And the other thing I searched for was “ssrs The reference for the shared dataset not valid

I was having trouble with my Reporting Services reports (specifically, the shared dataset).

The Solution:

On the deployed server, manage the specific report.  Under “shared datasets”, you’ll see (one of) the shared data set that is giving the error.  “Browse” too it, and re-link too it.  I haven’t checked yet if re-deploying the specific report will mess it up (as, re-deploying the report AND the shared dataset didn’t solve it in the first place).

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excel convert minutes to fractions of hour

I needed to convert the amount of time (in hours/minutes) to a fraction.  For example, the time between 8:00AM and 9:30AM would be “1.5 hours”.

 In Excel, I specified “8:30 AM” and it was formatted to 8:30:00 AM (so I knew it picked up the right format).  You can subtract the two times easy enough; the trick is to then multiply that amount by 24.

So if you have

A1 = “8:30 AM

B1 = “5:00 PM

Then C1 = “=(B2-A2)*24”

… but be sure to format that as a number.  You’ll get “8.5”

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excel 2013 open blank file instead of template

When I open MS Excel, I want a blank template to come up.  When I received a new computer at work, I kept getting prompted to specify the “template” to use; and I had to manually select “blank template”.

 You can default this by going to Options, then uncheck the box for “Show the Start screen when this application starts”

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Excel copy down values without overwriting other values

I didn’t know how to title this blog post; it’s a neat trick,but I can’t even really describe what it does!

Let’s say you blank rows that you want to fill in the value above it; but you’ll need a formula to do so, as you don’t want to over-write the value of the new row.

You want to turn this:


Into this:



The trick is to get the values you need in another column (ex, “C”), and then move it into the desired Column (“A”).

And here’s how:

  1. First make C2 equal to A2:


2.  In C3, put in: =IF(A3<>C2,IF(A3=””,C2,A3),C2)


… we’re seeing if the value of  that cell is NOT the cell above it; if it is, we put in one value – otherwise, another.

3. Copy that formula down; then copy/paste-special values over the original!


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PHP error when checking today vs tomorrow

I was using PHP’s date_diff() function to compare 2 dates.  I wanted to make sure that a date that the user selected was at least one day away from today.

The issue was that for “today” I was using:

define(“TODAYSDATE”, gmdate(“Y-m-d G:i:s”, time()) );

And comparing this against the user inputted date.

When I compared “today” vs “tomorrow,” it said that there were “0 days”.  I was looking for “1 day.”

The issue was, that I was (falsely) including the time.  Changing it to this, it worked:

 gmdate(“Y-m-d”, time())

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  • 11.05.2017
  • PHP

NativeScript Android publication reminder

You need to have a “strings.xml” file – it’s not made for you in the NativeScript command line.

In it, put the name of your app (as you want it to appear on the user’s phone).

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NativeScript iOS Pre-Publishing error

I got this error:

“Code signing is required for product type ‘Application’ in SDK ‘iOS 10.3′”

The trick was to re-run the “build” (and prepare) commands:


tns platform remove ios

tns platform add ios

tns build ios
tns build ios –release
tns prepare ios
THEN you’ll see the screen where you can specify the signing.
Also in the warnings, in “Update to Recommended Settings”, click the button for “Perform Changes”.
… Don’t re-run in XCode the emulator / on your phone or else it’ll disappear.
I haven’t figured out yet if doing a Clean + Build will mess things up or not…
But I’m really enjoying NativeScript!

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NativeScript Android process died and unfortunately stopped working

I received those errors in my NativeScript Android app; where at some points it “unfortunately stopped working” or in the CLI, it said the “process died”.

I re-created a brand new app and slowly copied/pasted pieces in.

I realized that it was my AndroidManifest.xml file that was wrong.

Specifically, I changed the application android:name  and  the activity android:name to something specific to my app (instead of “NativeScript”).   I think NativeScript uses that specific activity.

Don’t change the activity name nor the package name!  It’ll be updated for you when you “release” the app.

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NativeScript Android Font Awesome

I needed to use FontAwesome in my NativeScript app; it was working in iOS, but not in Android.

The trick was, in the CSS, add the part in bold:

font-family: 'FontAwesome', fontawesome-webfont;


…Note that this didn’t negatively affect the iOS running.

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