Microsoft BI Review

We switched from Crystal Report Server because it was crashing regularly.

Valuable Features

The ease of implementation and reliability of SQL Server Reporting Services far exceeded the solution originally implemented with Crystal Report. The Crystal Report Servers (3 of them) were crashing on a weekly basis at one of the companies where I worked.

Improvements to My Organization

We were able to reduce costs by consolidating the 3 Crystal Report Servers down to just one server running SSRS (with one backup just in case). The time it took to run some reports in Crystal were exceeding 5 minutes. The same report in SSRS not only was significantly faster (down to 30 seconds) and the licensing cost savings allowed for a quicker return on investment (less than one year).

Room for Improvement

The build in Report Builder for end users needs improvement. But for someone that has some training on SSRS, its very straightforward.

Use of Solution

The solution was implemented and still in use to this day to my knowledge.

Deployment Issues

No. Following the installation guide was a help with setting up SSRS to use single sign on as well as SQL accounts. The overall setup of the server took about an hour. The conversion of over 200 Crystal Reports to SSRS took some more time but was done with one user and completed within 3 months.

Stability Issues

No. SSRS has been rock solid and the server never needed rebooting unlike the Crystal Report Servers.

Scalability Issues

No. In fact we were able to decommission servers and switch to using a virtual server for SSRS.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Never had to use their support. But, the few times I have had to contact Microsoft, there were very knowledgeable and able to resolve the problem quickly.

Technical Support:

9, see above.

Previous Solutions

Yes. We used Crystal Reports, see above.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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