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A comparison of SQL Server Reporting Services and Power BI
Part seven of a seven-part series of blogs

Power BI improves with each monthly update. Will it reach a point where SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) becomes redundant? This detailed blog compares the two products, and considers the future of SSRS.

  1. Reporting Services (SSRS) versus Power BI
  2. An overview of Power BI and SSRS
  3. Loading data (SSRS and Power BI compared)
  4. Creating reports for viewing on-screen
  5. Exporting and printing reports
  6. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  7. Conclusions (this blog)

Posted by Andy Brown on 18 October 2019

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Comparing SSRS and Power BI is like comparing playing football and doing a jigsaw - they may both be enjoyable ways to pass your leisure time, but they do not achieve the same things.

Here are the strengths of each of the two software applications compared in this blog:

Software Uses
Power BI Power BI is great for presenting data on screen (particularly with interesting visuals), and for allowing people to drill down to analyse numbers in more detail.
SSRS SSRS is good when you want to create static reports, whether for printing, for sending out in letters or emails or for saving into Word or Excel format.

So to answer the original question posed at the start of this blog - will Power BI replace SSRS?  Another way of asking the same question is: will the paperless office recede so much that we will in the future do everything on screen?

My own best guess - and it is only a guess - will be that Microsoft will at some stage introduce a paginated report element to Power BI.  When this does happen, it will sound the death knell for SSRS.  Until that point, however, if you store your data in SQL Server and want to create reports to send out to people SSRS is still your best bet.

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