Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Helper I
Helper I

Power BI Vs SSRS

Hi All,


I was curious to know what made MicroSoft to develop Power BI as SSRS is already existing.


What are the additional features Power Bi has beyond SSRS??


Is there any specific criteria which makes user to choose Power BI or SSRS??


Thanks in Advance..




Helper I
Helper I

SSRS is better on delivering detail/operational schedule report:

  1. Email Subscription - In SSRS you can schedule to send the report to any email address instead of just Power BI Pro subscriber. It makes SSRS so much more flexible. 
  2. Detailed drilldown - If your customer prefer detail data in the report then SSRS is better. In SSRS, you can do a lot of customization on the report grouping to satisfy customer's need. Something that is not doable with Power BI's matrix.


Also, SSRS use SQL query so you don't have to re-learn DAX Smiley Tongue .

New Member

A company that needs to distribute reports and analytics to a medium number of users, with complex business logic and drill down capabilities. Then you should use ...SSRS


A company, an individual, a small group of users who need to compare data from many sources, analyze data, manipulate data, build custom visualizations of data, share them with other user and draw a synthesis from data. Then you should use ...Power BI

Frequent Visitor

I would like to ask a question specific to our business as we are not able to make a decision to choose the appropriate Reporting tool for preparing reports for our business.

There is requirement to prepare reports at specific schedules in the year i.e. Month End Reports, Quarterly Reports and Yearly Reports. We have two options (SSRS & Power BI) for preparing the reports, however, we have to choose one.
Can you please give some suggestions for this scenario?

Frequent Visitor

Hello @RakeshP


SSRS is part of the Microsoft "BI stack" and is part of SQL Server. When you install SQL Server you have the option to include different parts of the BI stack including SSIS, SSAS and SSRS. You can, in part, manage SSRS from SQL Server Management Studio as it's very integrated with SQL Server. SSRS runs as a service on a server you control (either a local physical or virtual server, or in the cloud). SSRS is free when you have a SQL Server license.


Power BI (which I have never used and don't know much about) is cloud based and is part of Microsoft Office 365. It runs in the cloud on hardware that you have less control over.


I have been working with SSRS for years. What makes it great is how it's pretty solid and stable. I can put together and publish a report in minutes and it will work. SSRS hasn't changed very much which means if you know one version you'll be able to manage them all. SSRS, however is old and tired. It's interface is outdated and crusty, you have minimal control over how parameters behave or appear. You can't use SSRS for slick looking charts and graphs, that functionality in SSRS is very week compared to what's available today.


Power BI on the other hand is extremely slick. The stuff I've seen created with Power BI is pretty amazing. It's certainly more modern and current.


On the flip side, for ever Power BI veteran, there's 20 people with many years of SSRS experience. There's more SSRS material. Note, for example, SSC has a Stairway for SSRS but not Power BI.


I hope this will helps you. Thank's for reading.

Community Champion
Community Champion

on top of what both @MattAllington and @SqlJason said, to give you real world example,


we had requirement for some basic reporting work for one of our clients. they didn't had big IT team and had minimal budget to spend on the work. they had old source system which had firebird database. we had two options to propose them,


a. SSRS - requires them purchasing sql server licenses, define scope for requirements, developer to work on those requirements, consider deployment, schedule refresh of data from firebird using SSIS, static reports with BI developer needed to make changes


b. PowerBI - Free to use, works with unstructured data, user create their own reports by drag and drop of fields, minimal training required, modern rendering


only catch here was that with PowerBI data goes to the cloud while with SSRS it stays on premises but using DirectQuery is workaround.

Power BI is free... until you use any paying feature including workspaces for collaboration, content packs for publishing or gateway if you have no vpn to your databases. So virtually all you need for a professional deployment is a pro feature which means that from creating report to consuming dashboard, you will need a pro account.

Our issue is that our clients are government based and our software sits on there servers. Power bi requires them going out to the cloud which from government security view is undesirable. Plus it requires each user to have there own log in. One client has over 1000 users. I'd be interested in any advice from anyone who has faced this issue
Not applicable

Have you tried the option of Power BI Report Server? It comes free with SQL Enterprise version. The enterprise users would not need any license to vew resports.

Power BI for Reporting Services is only 'free' when you have an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft and are using SQL Enterprise.   It does work well for on premises scenarios and there is a lot you can do that the Power BI Service does.   You have the flexibility of self service power bi reports as well as being able to create and publish SSRS reports. 



please check this link:

maybe you solve your problem 🙂


For use cases where the cloud is not an option, the on prem solution is Power BI publish to SSRS.  It was developed for this exact scenario, as Power BI service sits in public Azure (no express route connection).  As for having many users, you can add security groups or AD groups, so you don't have to manually add each user individually.  This also applies for RLS set up in Power BI desktop.

Licensing is an issue - especially when it comes to cost.


The way we had the cloud issue resolved here in NZ, we had the local Cloud Suppliers go through a Government Security Vetting which verifies that their infrastructure/platform conforms to Military Grade security. That bypassed the issue regarding security.


As for licensing, because it may be prohibitive, some organisations have opted for more cost effective options thus using powerBI internally and other tech externally.


Hope this helps

Did you find any solution for this issue with PowerBI, I also suffering for the same, due to security reason we are looking for a solution to store our data locally.

MS recently announced Power BI Premium which support dedicated powerbi service resources as well as on-premise deployment of power BI reports on top of Power BI report server. One of the things in the offering is no need for per user costing. Check out Power BI Premium license.

I want to throw a couple ideas on here as well. Really SSRS is for your pixel perfect, operational reporting. Power BI is first and foremost an Analysis tool, it allows you to visualize your data in different ways in order to allow deeper understanding of your business.

The two tools really work together with SQL 2016, I encourage everyone to look into the new vision for BI going forward. SSRS reports in Power BI Service, Desktop files as backend for SSRS reports - looks really exciting.

Check out the Roadmap.

Looking for more Power BI tips, tricks & tools? Check out the site I co-own with Mike Carlo. Also, if you are near SE WI? Join our PUG Milwaukee Brew City PUG

This is the best answser. Many professionals do not realize the diference between operational requirements and analytical requirements. Also the technology behind SSRS and Power BI are totally different and they are oriented to SSRS: Operational and PowerBI: Analytical.

SSRS is for Operational: Print an Invoice, Print an paginated list of detailed rows, get real time information from complex sql queries.

You cannot do the above with PowerBI. Instead PowerBI you can interact with slicers and filtering, and add summarized information to Tabular, Multidimensional or imported mode.


SSRS and Power BI has different sources:

Power BI as analytical model using uses Tabular, Power Pivot or  Multidimensional , imported or Direct Query mede is oriented to get summarize data from measures. 

In SSRS you can use the database directly as a source and generate an multitable joins with subqueries like you can do in SQL. It is efficient when you need to get 10,000 rows and 200 columns and with formulas.

Try to get 10,000 rows and 200 columns with Dax Measures comming from different tables and it simply does not run. Nothing bad with the tool, it is just not designed to do detailed massive reporting.

Memorable Member
Memorable Member

On top of what Matt already mentioned, most of the enterprise clients are going towards visualization tools that are more adaptive and responsive. Users want tools that look modern and can crossfilter when you click on charts.


SSRS has none of theose features and is very static. Also, there is a learning curve for developing reports in SSRS while in Power BI, you can make reports just by dragging and dropping. That said, SSRS still has it's space as there are some enterprise level features that are not available in Power BI yet (but I suspect that over time, Power BI is going to get a lot of those features).


Read the post below for the official roadmap for SSRS and PowerMap -



Power BI has data acquisition and transformation, data modelling and visualisation.  It is html 5, semi open source, app enabled and cloud enabled SaaS


SSRS is an enterprise visualisation tool built on old technology (although being updated). It needs data to be delivered by some other system. 


Read the the gartner Magic quadrant released last week to read about how Gartner is now separating traditional enterprise BI (SSRS included) from self service bi.


That's my view anyway

* Matt is a Microsoft MVP (Power BI) and author of the Power BI Book Supercharge Power BI.

Helpful resources

November 2022 Update

Check it Out!

Click here to read more about the November 2022 updates!

Microsoft 365 Conference â__ December 6-8, 2022

Microsoft 365 Conference - 06-08 December

Join us in Las Vegas to experience community, incredible learning opportunities, and connections that will help grow skills, know-how, and more.