Microsoft SSRS provides users with a set of on-premises tools and services for creating, deploying, and managing paginated reports for sales invoices, receipts, purchase orders, and more.
This solution is a genuine legacy product included whenever you have an SQL database. That doesn’t mean you have to stick with it, though.
This guide outlines nine of the top reasons why you might want to look for an alternative to Microsoft SSRS, with advice on other platforms to try instead.
Reason 1: SSRS Has Limited Visual Customization Options
Microsoft SSRS gives you access to some basic visual customization options. If you want to truly make your reports your own or add more sophisticated branding or design elements, though, SSRS isn’t the best tool for the job.
Customization plays a critical role in helping you create reports that people want to review and can easily interpret and use to make data-driven decisions.
With the limited offerings Microsoft SSRS provides, you might struggle to create high-quality data visualizations that improve your reports and make them more compelling. An alternative that comes with more customization options will likely be a better fit.
Reason 2: SSRS Is Built for Developers
Many people complain that Microsoft SSRS is not as user-friendly as other data visualization and reporting tools. SSRS comes with a much steeper-than-average learning curve and isn’t a good fit for those who don’t have a robust technical background.
When you consider the fact that this tool was created specifically with developers in mind and requires you to write code and manually design reports, it makes sense that so many users feel frustrated when trying to figure it out.
Even those who do consider themselves to be tech-savvy might struggle to get the hang of SSRS. It takes a lot of time and effort to figure out this solution’s architecture, the reporting design process, etc. Transitioning to a different tool could help you work more efficiently and be more productive.
Reason 3: Microsoft SSRS Lacks Interactive Features
Microsoft SSRS is an older tool (it was launched nearly two decades ago in 2004) and is primarily used to generate static reports. It also lacks the interactive and collaborative features that modern reporting solutions offer.
Ask almost anyone and they’ll tell you that collaboration is essential to their team’s success (not to mention the entire business’s success). It increases efficiency, boosts creativity and innovation, and helps them find solutions sooner. A lack of interactive features can make collaboration difficult, especially for remote and hybrid teams.
If you’re tired of not having access to real-time updates and interactive data exploration, or if you think that’s something you’ll need in the future, it might be time to switch to an SSRS alternative.
Reason 4: Microsoft SSRS Has Limited Data Source Connectivity
Technically, Microsoft SSRS does connect to a variety of data sources. However, it can be difficult to integrate with non-Microsoft databases and cloud-based platforms. In some cases, it even requires custom coding and other time-consuming configurations.
Ideally, employees won’t need in-depth coding knowledge to collect, read, and analyze data and create engaging reports. With SSRS, though, extensive technical knowledge is required to carry out even simple processes and take advantage of its features.
Making the change from Microsoft SSRS to a new solution will ensure all your team members can use it to collect and access data from multiple sources.
Reason 5: Microsoft SSRS Uses a Lot of Resources
SSRS uses a lot of your computer’s resources to generate reports. Furthermore, as the data volume and report complexity increase, SSRS performance tends to slow down.
Do you frequently work with large datasets? Do you try to handle multiple user requests concurrently?
If so, you’re likely frustrated with the frequent slowdowns that come with SSRS (or will face frustration sooner rather than later). A more modern tool will likely be more efficient and better equipped to help you carry out everyday reporting tasks.
Reason 6: Microsoft SSRS Only Runs on Windows Devices
Because it’s a Microsoft product, SSRS only runs on Windows devices.
If yours is a Microsoft-only office, you and your team might not find this point to be a problem -- for now. However, as your team grows, you might find that employees want to use different devices that aren’t compatible with Microsoft SSRS.
If you plan to expand your team or just want the option to use a wider range of tools, switching to a Microsoft SSRS alternative is a good idea.
Reason 7: SSRS Only Generates Server-Based Reports
Microsoft SSRS can only generate server-based reports. Conversely, modern solutions can typically generate cloud-based and server-based reports easily and efficiently.
These days, just about everyone prefers cloud-based solutions for the increased accessibility and flexibility they offer. If you’re using a solution that doesn’t provide these options, you could be holding your team and your business back.
Would it make your life easier to generate a wider range of reports? If so, it’s time to start looking for something new.
Reason 8: SSRS Is Only Accessible on Desktops and Through Web Browsers
If you want to use Microsoft SSRS, you must access it from a desktop computer or through another device’s web browser.
Many other, more modern tools can be accessed through mobile apps as well as web browsers. This feature creates more convenience and allows you and your team to get work done from anywhere and from a wide range of devices.
If your team is often on the go, or if you would just appreciate increased flexibility, a tool besides Microsoft SSRS will probably suit you better.
Reason 9: SSRS Is Expensive
As an enterprise tool, Microsoft SSRS is expensive. It requires you to pay for an SQL Server license -- and prices start at $7,500. But more importantly, the developer cost to maintain it, upgrade to new versions, and deploy to users is very steep. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s free as part of the SQL license.
Depending on your business’s budget, SSRS simply might not be accessible, especially if you’re running a startup or a small/medium-sized business.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to generate quality reports. There are plenty of other tools that perform the same functions (plus many more that aren’t available on SSRS) and are a fraction of the cost.
A Better Alternative: Yurbi
So, you've explored the challenges that Microsoft SSRS presents - from limited customization, hefty resource consumption, to its steep learning curve. It's clear that your business needs tools that can grow and flex with it, without putting a strain on your team or your resources. It's time to consider an alternative - a tool that puts your enterprise's needs at the forefront—Yurbi.
Why Yurbi? Here's how it addresses your concerns:
- Greater Customization: Yurbi offers a plethora of customization options, allowing you to create reports that truly reflect your enterprise's unique needs.
- User-friendly: Yurbi is designed for all users, not just developers. Its intuitive interface ensures that even those without a technical background can easily navigate and generate reports.
- Minimal Resource Consumption: Yurbi efficiently manages data, even large datasets, without slowing down your system's performance.
- Seamless Data Source Connectivity: With Yurbi, integrating multiple data sources is a breeze, breaking free from the limited connectivity of SSRS.
- Interactive Features: Yurbi offers interactive and collaborative features, allowing your team to work together seamlessly.
- Device and Platform Flexibility: Yurbi isn't just limited to Windows devices; it supports a range of platforms so that your team can work in the way that suits them best.
Above all, while SSRS comes with a hefty overall price tag, Yurbi offers the same services, and even more, at a fraction of the cost (when considering operations and maintenance and user happiness in the ROI), making it an affordable, efficient, and smart choice for businesses of all sizes.
It's time for an upgrade, and Yurbi is here to deliver.