Microsoft SQL Server Reporting – SSRS
The programmer has been spoilt by the built-in Reporting facility of Microsoft Access. After a tortuous beginning, the latest version of SQL Server Reporting Services is now available, and it is more than an adequate replacement for Microsoft Access Reports.
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a server-based, report generating software system.
The programmer can now create, deploy, and manage Web, Mobile and paginated Reporting with a range of tools and services that SSRS provides.
SSRS can create basic reports containing tables and graphs, or more complex presentations, using charts and maps.
SSRS is Microsoft's answer to the expanding expectation of users.
- Report viewer: Users can view Reports over the Web.
- Report Builder: There is a Front-End for ad hoc reporting. Knowledge of SQL and its complexities is not required.
- Report Designer: Allows the building of advanced Reports.
Visual Basic.Net and Visual Studio
SSRS is integrated with Visual Studio, allowing Visual Basic.Net to control the functionality.
When a report has been created:
- The ReportViewer control can be used on a Form or a Web page to preview and print an RDLC Report file. It can access any database source, not just SQL Server. The ReportViewer control has the option to export the result to Excel, PDF or Word.
- The Report, the SQL Select statement and the Data Source can all be changed with Visual Basic.Net code. This allows programmatic control of the viewing and printing of any report.
What happened to Crystal Reports?
Crystal Reports used to be a pervasive software product, due to its ability to create reports for an Access Database, as well as an SQL Server database. So there was always an easy Report upgrade path from Microsoft Access.
The CR2016 software is not much different from the version of 20 years ago. The ODBC Security updates caused problems, due to the embedded Database passwords in the Crystal Reports RPT files.
After various Company takeovers, Crystal Reports has lapsed into an also-ran.