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A year and a half ago, I saw a demo of Microsoft’s Reporting Services and said, “Crystal Reports will be a memory in 10 years”, and I still think I'm going to be correct.




Crystal doesn't have much in the way of worries right now.  For the last couple of weeks, I'm working with SSRS for the first time, and WOW does it suck.  Don't get me wrong, the infrastructure is fantastic.  Moving a report from drawing board to server is simply a right click and a “deploy“ away.  That is WOW great and amazing.


Being on the report creation side is a different matter.  Crystal has some serious problem, but I can make a report sing from within the IDE.  Crystal has had a WYSIWYG interface for 10 years, you know, where you look at the report output, and adjust the width of the field while looking at live data.  Dragging fields around is a breeze and making summaries happen is such a no brainer I never had to think about it. 


Now I'm sure that some of this frustration is just the natural learning curve of the product, but duh-ang people, couldn't you have hired a couple of report writers in to use your tool and tell what's good and what sucks?  If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, “When the CEO get's on the plane all he has are your reports.  At that moment, your reports ARE your program, so don't leave they're design and creation until the very last second.” 

With Crystal Reports, if an executive asks for a report tweak, I can dive into any report, make that tweak, run the report, and leave his office.  With SSRS, the way it is now, I'm going to have to write up a change request, and send the new output through a QA cycle, “you'll see your changes is a week, no problem”.

Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2006 9:33 AM Contracting , Stupid Code Tricks | Back to top

Comments on this post: SQL Server Reporting Services Frustrations

# re: SQL Server Reporting Services Frustrations
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I totally agree. The process for adding data from a SQL db is byzantine at best MADDENING at worst.

You know it's bad when I take data from SQL and push it into Excel to make a freaking pivot table because I just cant get the reporting services report complete.

And what complex task am Itrying to do? Graph historical information form a web load test.

Left by surfdork on Feb 12, 2008 6:38 PM

# re: SQL Server Reporting Services Frustrations
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It isn't just you and it is NOT just a learning curve. I have been using SSRS for 10 years now and it sucks horribly. The better you get at it and the more used to it you get the more you see how bad it sucks, how buggy it is and the vast limitations it has. Trust me, I have considered quitting and getting a job at Taco Bell when I have weeks of concurrent SSRS work. It really saps my will to live. It is pure 100% garbage.
Left by Matt on Jul 17, 2014 9:58 AM

# Too Many Quirks for a Go To Reporting Solution
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Defaults that don't work? Not being able to activate or deactivate parameters? Or hide them dynamically, based on other parameter values?Really? And then worse of all supplying option for parameters defauts that don't work, allow for varicale creating but not being able to use them in parameter creating? The list goes on and on. When user come to me with their request for complex reports, if I have to do 90% of my work on an asp or MVC page to spoon feed SSRS what I need to get a report? the what do I need SSRS for? Big Disappointment.
Left by Jose on Sep 26, 2014 9:27 AM

# re: SQL Server Reporting Services Frustrations
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I'm coming into this a little late, but I'd like to offer an alternative to SSRS that's quite a bit easier to use. Windward AutoTag is a designer tool that sits in MS Office, so creating and updating templates is easy, even for less technically savvy business users. The solution links to almost every type of data source and uses drag and drop wizards. Means far less time developing and more time spent on other aspects of programming. (Disclosure: I work for Windward). We have a helpful comparison with SSRS here:
Left by Larry Goldman on Dec 17, 2014 9:22 AM

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