Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is the SQL Server component for the creation of various 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 also includes a relational database management system, data integration and data quality components, and the multidimensional database SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS).
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 Azure, a cloud-based solution. Microsoft Azure now offers more than 200 products and services, which increasingly outperform on-premises offerings (e.g., for AI and machine learning).
Compared to the huge business the company does in a range of different markets, its BI front-end revenues are still relatively small. Nevertheless, Microsoft is a strong presence in the BI market and its offering is strategic to complement existing solutions and to drive cloud revenues. In the past, the vendor spread its BI capabilities across the Office, SharePoint and SQL Server product lines, providing tools for formatted reporting, analysis and dashboards. In 2015 Microsoft released Power BI, a dedicated BI and analytics product, which is covered separately in The BI & Analytics Survey. This product review describes SQL Server Reporting Services.
User & Use Cases
Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services is used mainly 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 70 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 to build visually appealing mobile reports.
Interestingly – and in contrast to previous years when SSRS was frequently evaluated against other Microsoft products – none of its top five rival solutions this year come from Microsoft. This highlights a general trend we have observed in The BI & Analytics Survey this year: Many customers are now seeking a business-power-user-oriented solution to help them analyze and visualize data.
Current vs. planned use
5 products most often evaluated in competition with Microsoft SSRS
Percentage of employees using Microsoft SSRS
Number of users using Microsoft SSRS
Tasks carried out with Microsoft SSRS by business users
Company size (number of employees)
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