SSRS Vs Power BI

SSRS and Power BI are both Business Intelligence tools specially designed to present data to the end user. Since both are part of the Microsoft BI stack, they are equipped with a different set of audiences and applied in different practices. Before we discuss the differences between the two, let’s first understand each of these clearly.

What is SSRS?

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a server-based comprehensive extensible reporting platform that comes free with SQL Server 2012. It is one of the most powerful tools for several years. There are many features that can be used to create reports that suit customer requirements. The SSRS service provides an interface into Microsoft Visual Studio so that it can be connected to the SQL databases and use SSRS tools to format SQL in various complex ways.

What is Power BI?

Power BI is a business analytics service provided by Microsoft. It is a collection of apps, connectors, and software services that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent. Power BI lets you easily connect to your data sources and analyze what is important. It allows the user to have access to reports and personalized dashboards which provides a complete 360-degree view of the business from all the diverse sources.

Main Differences Between Microsoft Power BI and SSRS

Following are the major differences between “Microsoft Power BI and SSRS”

Basis SSRS Microsoft Power BI
History SSRS was first introduced in the year 200 which provides a unified, server based, and scalable platform through which all the business reporting needs can be satisfied. Power BI report server is a cloud-based business analytics service introduced in the year 2017 for analyzing and visualizing data introduced in 2017.
License It is paid device. It is free to utilize which will also reduce the acquisition barriers.
Applicability SSRS is used for producing the server-based reports. Power BI is used to produce cloud-based and server-based reports.
Dependency SSRS can work with structure and semi-structure of information. Power BI can manage structured and unstructured data. One of the best features of Power BI is the ability to save data to Excel.
Convenience Access to web and work area. Power BI can utilize through the work area, web, and mobile applications.
Component SSRS is an enterprise visualization tool based on old technology. Power BI is HTML 5 open source app-enabled and cloud-enabled SAAS.
Nature Because of its rich graphical component, it is easy user-friendly. Power BI is less user-friendly.
Implementation SSRS implementation is complex compared to Power BI. Power BI uses cloud storage and simple implementation process.
Size limit There is no limit for the size of a data set. Whereas, it has a limit of 1GB data in the free version. You can create multiple datasets in it.

SSRS and Power BI are the two leading business intelligence tools that organizations use around the globe designed to present data to the end user. Both are part of the Microsoft BI stack and geared towards different audiences and intended to be consumed in different manners. SSRS is a server-based reporting platform that provides comprehensive reporting functionality for a variety of data sources where Power BI is a cloud-based service. Since Power BI is meant for an advanced and modern solution it invites users to get started with it themselves rather than SSRS. The users who are only concerned with reports can opt for SSRS. But, if the users need more insight then it’s good to go with Power BI. It’s not about the tool, but it’s all about the impact that we achieve.

The following image will help you understand better the differences between Microsoft Power BI and SSRS

You can also understand the differences between Power BI and Tableau here.


Following are the few main reasons to choose SSRS:

  • SSRS allows better and more accurate decision-making mechanism for the users
  • It allows users to interact with information without involving any IT professionals
  • It is an intensified tool compared to other crystal reports
  • It provides a host of security features

Why do we need Power BI?

Here are some of the key benefits of using Power BI:

  • A large amount of data can be processed
  • Helps in transforming your enterprise data into rich visuals
  • Less engineering resources to use
  • It can be embedded into your own custom apps

The choice between Power BI and SSRS can be decided completely based on requirements. It depends on your organization if it used paginated reports on premises then SSRS will be a more cost-effective option. On the other hand, if you already have SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance then Power BI Reporting Services will likely to be your preferred choice.

Do you want to create dashboards and reports automatically without having to depend on information technology staff or database administrators? Don’t waste any more time you can take up Power BI course!. This Power BI training will definitely help you in creating outstanding reports!