I get the following questions quite often and thought I gather my thoughts together in this blog post
- “Which reporting components should we use in WPF?
Is it Infragistics, Telerik, syncfusion”
- “Is DevExpress XtraReports Suite still state of the art for reporting?”
- “Do you prefer SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) over Crystal Reports?”
Figure: Not sure if I should respond or remain silent
Before you can answer those question you need to step back and ask a couple of questions from a business point of view:
- What question is the report(s) going to answer?
- What decision does the report help to take?
- What actions do we take after seeing the report?
Then we might get a bit more technical:
- How up-to-date do the reports need to be?
- Do you need to see a trend over these reports over time?
And then you should dig deeper
- When and how should the reports be displayed?
Windows App, Web, In Application, Excel? (BA’s love Excel)
- Who is the target group of the report?
Internal (authenticated) people only/extern?
- What is the report data source?
SQL Server, Oracle, alle OleDB DB, data warehouses?
- Who is creating the reports?
Developers? BAs? CXO? Technical User?
- Who is going to maintain the reports?
Developers? BAs? CXO?
- How often should we deliver the reports?
On demand, Scheduled, Trigger?
- Are the reports fairly static of parameterized? Sub-reports?
Reports embedded in other applications. Parameters could be Dates, Departments, People, …
- Is there already infrastructure of know how available?
Crystal oder MS Report server?
Depending from these answers I would suggest:
- Infrastructure like SQL Server Reporting Services
- SQL Reporting Services reports generated on the client side
- Report Builder as a tool to develop and maintain reports
- Sharepoint Server 2010 (was Microsoft PerformancePoint Server)
- Excel Services deployed in Sharepoint
- Control suite like: devExpress, telerik, syncFusion, Infragistics
- Excel with a SQL or OLE DB datasource
- Custom pages in ASP.NET
If some of these terms are new to you check out my slides on Reports with SQL Server Reporting Services on SlideShare
BTW: Adam has a great collection of Reporting Tips and Tricks
How do you approach such the questions at the top??