Sunday, October 31, 2010

SQL Azure Reporting versus SSRS : Challenges in cloud based reporting

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SQL Azure Reporting is soon expected to be available on Azure platform, and as the name suggests, it is expected to cater reporting out of SQL Azure. A nice comparison of cloud based SQL Azure reporting and on-premises SQL Server Reporting Services can be read from this page.

Nice part about this cloud based reporting is that one can author report from cloud and host it on the cloud. But when authoring is done on the cloud, the only data source available would be SQL Azure. This makes the scope quite limited for the use of such reports. Earlier too, it was possible to create reports out of SQL Azure databases using SSRS, and one of my popular articles on how to implement the same can be read from here. Instead of being a PaaS / SaaS solution, I see it just as an extension to SQL Azure feature set, something similar to export data functionality. Support for reporting from on-premise data using WCF / RIA services would have made this reporting solution much admirable.

It's also being heard on a few blogs, that one can now wash away their hands from maintaining the reporting infrastructure as reporting is available on cloud, but there are a lot of questions before this statement. In my views, there must be some exceptional reasons to implement a reporting infrastructure for a cloud based database. Instead of it, the best solution is a PaaS / SaaS reporting solution.

Probably it's too early to make any comments right now, and you can get more information from this PDC video. In summary the good news is that it's the first ray of hope to see BI related features and services on cloud. You can sign up for the SQL Azure Reporting CTP from here.


Hennie said...

Do you understand the move of MS of moving SSRS (first?) to the cloud? Because it's already a HTML based solution?


Siddharth Mehta said...

I feel this is more from a need for SQL Azure. Presently if you need to export or report data out of SQL Azure, you need an on-premise reporting tool.

SSRS is facilitated majorly through a set of webservices, hence it's more easier to implement on cloud platform. Also reporting would cater creating an out door for data contained in SQL Azure, resulting in increased adoption of SQL Azure for SMBs.

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