Accounting Software Blog

Crystal Reports or SSRS(SQL Server Reporting Services

Author: Jennifer Levy/Thursday, July 11, 2013/Categories: Dynamics GP

With Dynamics GP, you have a number of options for generating reports.  Depending on your specific needs there is usually an appropriate tool.  For example, FRx is the reporting tool for generating traditional structured financial statements such as Profit and Loss Statements or Balance Sheets.  Dynamics GP Smartlists provide easy access to data in list form that can quickly exported to Excel. Lastly,most existing standard reports and forms are created with GP’s Report Writer - which is neither exceptionally easy to use or a powerful tool.

 But if you have some fairly advanced reporting needs including some complex grouping, sub-totaling, specific formatting and other "beyond-the-basics" needs, then you are really looking at two alternatives: Crystal Reports and SQL Reporting Services (SSRS).

Crystal Reports has been the king of the reporting hill for some time.  It offers the most powerful features of any report writer. It still represents the ultimate in reporting flexibility and power.

But Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Services has been gaining on Crystal Reports in many ways over the past few years.  It comes with the Microsoft SQL Server database so you do not have to pay any extra (unless you need extra SQL licenses for your report development users).  Being a Microsoft solution, it is the direction that Microsoft is heading for all its business application needs, as they have already incorporated it into the Dynamics GP product.  And that trend will continue to accelerate.  We are seeing much more interest and commitment to the SSRS reporting environment from many of our customers, across a variety of business applications.  We find that we are developing as many custom reports in SSRS as we do Crystal.

Although SSRS still trails Crystal from a technical capability comparison, I feel it is time for all companies and users with serious reporting needs to commit to learning SSRS.  Although its report design environment is actually Visual Studio which can be intimidating to some, it is not that difficult to learn.  An additional plus for SSRS is that as part of SQL Server you get a web-based Report Manager admin tool that can maintain report executions and delivery. 


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