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kabro
New Member

Using SSRS today, SSAS or Power BI tomorrow?

Hi,

I'm currently using SSRS for generating reports from a Microsoft SQL Server. 

At the moment I need to write new queries when generating a new report, but I'd like to have a more self service oriented solution. 

 

Which option do you think is the best for generating modern reports without knowledge in any query language, SQL Server Analysis Services or Power BI? 

 

If I wan't to integrate Power BI, do I need SSAS for building the OLAP cubes that Power BI will display?

 

Thanks in advance .

5 REPLIES 5
Bjoern Responsive Resident
Responsive Resident

Re: Using SSRS today, SSAS or Power BI tomorrow?

 

@kabro

 

Power BI is quite weak for displaying tables right now. Also it is not available on-prem right now, so the web service has to be hosted via MS Azure cloud service. Besides those 2 issues, Power BI is better, more modern, more self-service oriented, ... etc.. For me, it is THE reporting tool.

 

Power BI will also be available on prem soon:

https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi/suggestions/7948020-powerbi-reports-and-dashboard-o...

Also SSRS will be integrated with Power BI at some point in time: 

https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi/suggestions/6897219-integrate-ssrs-reports

 

You can connect Power BI to a number of different sources. This can either be:

a) on prem SQL

b) azure SQL DB

c) AS Tabular

d) AS Multidimensional

E) Azure DWH

 

etc.

The variety and number of sources is really neat.

 

Hope that helps for the start.

BR

Super User III
Super User III

Re: Using SSRS today, SSAS or Power BI tomorrow?

@kabro Just to add to what @Bjoern said, check out the new Microsoft BI roadmap in SQL 2016. It pulls together all types of reporting really well. http://blogs.technet.com/b/dataplatforminsider/archive/2015/10/29/microsoft-business-intelligence-ou...

 


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

Re: Using SSRS today, SSAS or Power BI tomorrow?

@Seth_C_Bauer

@Bjoern

 

Many thanks for your quick and good anwers!

So I guess Power BI is the option to go with.

 

But how is the data model created when I'm implementing Power BI directly with SQL Server? 

If I'd connect Power BI with SSRS I guess the reports are still stuck to only show the reports created in SSRS, but with a better interface? 

 

I've searched for a better understanding of this but almost everything I find is regarding how to use Power BI...  

Bjoern Responsive Resident
Responsive Resident

Re: Using SSRS today, SSAS or Power BI tomorrow?

@kabro

 

"But how is the data model created when I'm implementing Power BI directly with SQL Server?"

 

It depends on the mode. If you use "import data", you can do all you want, but need primary keys etc. to define the relationships. For the "live connect" it is currently a bit harder: you can only pull in the data and create relationships. It is currently not possible to add calculcated columns or measures. In general you would prefer the live connect, so i guess they are also working on improving the live connect.

 

"If I'd connect Power BI with SSRS I guess the reports are still stuck to only show the reports created in SSRS, but with a better interface?"

 

If you use the "on-prem" hosting of Power BI, you can host Power BI Reports on prem and use the SSRS webserver as server. I do not know what it will look like, if you implement the SSRS reports in the Power BI dashboards (azure web service), as the feature has not been relased so far. 😉

Super User III
Super User III

Re: Using SSRS today, SSAS or Power BI tomorrow?

@kabro I'll take a high level response here to hopfully clarify a couple things. There are a couple things that I'll recommend.

Starting with ad-hoc, which can be used to create a proof of concept, and moving to a larger company wide solution if you need to expand further. All of this is premised on the fact that you do, or will need to structure a data model. (look this concept up if you are unfamiliar)

 

ad-hoc: Power BI lets you take any data from various sources and using Power BI desktop, you can create a model in the tool to create relationships to each of your imported objects. You also have the ability to directly connect to sources, but as @Bjoern explains, there are caveats to each connection type - you can look them up in the support site.

 

Corporate: What I would recommend you look into is Tabular models (this is essentially the same thing being used in Power BI). Power BI, then has the ability to direct connect to the tabular model you build. This solution required SQL BI edition or Enterprise.

(You could also go the Multidimensional route, but if you don't know either - tabular models are easier to understand initially and fit most needs)

 

Tabular models will allow you to write procedures to pull in data, and will also pull in off views and tables. Long term, it sounds like you want to look at denormalizing the relevant business info you need and creating a data-mart or warehouse to extract the relevant information into a Tabular model or Power BI.

 


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

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