SSRS and Power BI comparison for Dynamics 365 CE Reporting


Hi,

Was recently working on a comparison between using SSRS and/or Power BI for reporting for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, below are some of the points we came up

SSRS has always been Reporting Tool of choice for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and has been natively integrated with the application.

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers Report Parameters for SSRS that are specific to CRM and can be used while writing custom reports using SSRS.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides CRM
    Pre-filtering feature using which user can use to create a context-sensitive report. Pre-filtering basically passes the specific record (or selected records) information on which report is to be run and renders the result after pulling the information from those record(s). These reports can be uploaded and run from inside the form or grid (list of records) or from the Reports Area within CRM.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides Filtered Views against which SSRS Report are written.  Filtered views conform to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM security model so the data shown in an SSRS report using a filtered view would only contain the data the users can view and has access in CRM
  • SSRS Reports adheres to Security Model of Dynamics CRM. They can viewable by the Organization or Individual. Individual reports can be shared with other users within the system through the Sharing feature.
  • SSRS is an ideal solution for something to be printed, for e.g. operation documents like invoices, work order, etc. as it gives fine-grained control over location as well as formatting of each of the report components/controls.
  • SSRS has support for more advanced printing features such as footers, headers, watermarks, and page numbers. We can easily configure the margins and layout of your report to get it exactly the way you want.
  • It is easy to extract data as well as export the SSRS report to a different format like word, excel, CSV, pdf, XML, etc.
  • Delivery reports in multiple formats automatically (Scheduling via Subscriptions).
  • There are some limitations for CRM Online reporting which has mostly to do with limitations of Fetch XML.

Interactivity and Data Exploration is where Power BI wins over SSRS à

  • For interactivity and data exploration we can use parameters, drill-through reports or action links, however, comparing this to Power BI, it is very limited, if we click on a visual, all of the other visuals automatically cross-highlight or cross-filter.
  • Advanced Visualisation support in Power BI.
  • Because of the limited interactivity, SSRS is not ideal for data exploration. We have limited options for slicing and dicing the data. SSRS makes more sense when you know what you want the end result to look like. If you to play around with the data, you are much better off with Power BI.
  • Mobile support is much better for Power BI.
  • Support a large number of data sources.

In short, both the tool can be used and can co-exist as they fulfil a different set of requirements.

Would appreciate if you could provide your thoughts in the comments and some additional points.

Hope it helps..

Author: Nishant Rana

I love working in and sharing everything about Microsoft.NET technology !

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