Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is the SQL Server component for the creation of different report formats as well as the publication of content such as reports, KPIs, and Excel and Power BI files using a central web-based portal. Besides Reporting Services, Microsoft SQL Server consists of further products including a relational database management system, data integration and data quality components, and Analysis Services (SSAS) as a multidimensional database.

Microsoft is the world’s largest software company. Founded in 1975 and headquartered in Redmond, it has become a household name, primarily due to its Windows operating system and Office suite. Aside from these products, Microsoft has a vast range of enterprise software and cloud offerings including its own database, browser, various servers and ERP solutions. In recent years, Microsoft has focused its business on cloud-based solutions such as Azure. AI and machine learning have also become increasingly important in product development. Microsoft completed its acquisition of the business social network LinkedIn towards the end of 2016.

Microsoft’s strategic development in the BI area dates back to 1996 when it purchased OLAP technology from Panorama. In just a few years Microsoft moved from being a surprising entrant into the OLAP market to become the market share leader. Its main database technologies are bundled in SQL Server, which many companies use today to build a central data warehouse. This package includes data integration (Integration Services, also known as SSIS) as well as multidimensional and relational data management.

Reporting Services (SSRS), a solution for formatted reporting, is also included with SQL Server. Report Builder, a tool launched in 2005, was designed to help business users create printed reports on the fly. With the 2016 version, Microsoft introduced Revolution Analytics R technology into the server, which provides powerful capabilities for the implementation of data mining scenarios.

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services is part of the Microsoft SQL Server platform. Even though the product is based on this platform, it does not necessarily rely on it in terms of data connectivity. Besides Microsoft SQL Server, SSRS can connect to other data sources such as Oracle, SAP BW, Teradata and others by using ODBC, OLE DB or XML. In the latest releases, SSRS is now equipped with a RESTful API to support the creation of modern applications.

User & Use Cases

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services is much liked by mid-sized companies as many use the SQL Server database to create their data warehouse. There is an emphasis on standard/enterprise reporting with SSRS, although 71 percent of users also report using it for dashboards. This partly reflects the historical use of the software for creating simple dashboards, as well as the use of technology from the Datazen acquisition for the creation of visually appealing mobile reports.

Like other Microsoft products, Excel is mostly evaluated against other Microsoft solutions such as Power BI, SSRS and SSAS. This highlights a weakness in the Microsoft BI portfolio as a whole: overlapping features in different product lines.

Current vs. planned use


5 products most often evaluated in competition with Microsoft SSRS


Percentage of employees using Microsoft SSRS


Tasks carried out with Microsoft SSRS by business users


Company size (number of employees)


Want to see the whole picture?

BARC’s Vendor Performance Summary contains an overview of The BI Survey results based on feedback from Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) users, accompanied by expert analyst commentary.

Purchase the Vendor Performance Summary

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

Peer Groups Large enterprise BI platforms, Large international BI vendors
VendorMicrosoft Corporation
Number of responses69
ProductMicrosoft SQL Server Reporting Services
Revenues (2017)$100 billion USD approx. (2018)