3rd Party Report Builders for SQL Server Reporting Services that don’t require Visual Studio know how.

A recurring concern for IT Pros looking to employ SQL Server Reporting Services is the apparent need to use Visual Studio as the report designer.  This is not the case.  There are a number of alternatives out there.


Firstly, there are two alternatives that I’m aware of that can be used by normal ‘end users’ to directly create RDL.


  1. Cizer from http://www.cizer.com/portalcsvs/DesktopDefault.aspx

    The Cizer .NET Reporting Suite includes Cizer Quick Query, Cizer Report Builder, and the Cizer .NET Portal, providing both ad hoc and production report design with a ready-to-load Portal interface for personalized reporting using nothing but Internet Explorer on the client.

    Global libraries for Reporting, Queries and Parameters provide a repository for pre-tested SQL, baseline reports, and templates, as well as a single point of maintenance for queries affecting multiple reports.

    The robust Cizer .NET Reporting security model controls both authentication and permissions, allowing administrators to lock down data to the column-row granular level required by today's database security standards.  A Custom Login add-on is also provided to allow applications already using a security model to easily connect to the Cizer .NET database so end-users are automatically authenticated by the database application security model with a single login.

  2. OfficeWriter from http://officewriter.softartisans.com/officewriter-250.aspx

    Use MS Office to Design Reports
    Released in September 2004, the Reporting Services Edition of OfficeWriter allows users to design and then publish their Reporting Services reports without ever leaving Microsoft Office. Visual Studio .NET is no longer needed to design reports.

    Every Feature of Office 97-2003
    With OfficeWriter, Reporting Services customers can now utilize all advanced Excel features such as pivots, VBA, macros, advanced formulas and live charts. In addition, end users can now design and deliver their reports in Microsoft Word, which is currently not supported by Reporting Services.


Secondly, there are BI ‘end user’ reporting tools such as:

  1. Proclarity http://www.proclarity.co.uk and
  2. Panorama Novaview http://www.panoramasoftware.com/,

that have integrated Reporting Services into their applications.








Comments (3)

  1. DeepICE says:

    Reporting services won’t install inless you have VS.net 2003 installed

  2. Thomas Williams says:

    G’day Mat, thanks for the pointers, one of the perceived "limitations" in get Reporting Services utilised where I work was the dependency on VS.NET to design reports. I tried out OfficeWriter, and we’re looking at Cizer now.

    I’m looking forward to ActiveViews (or whatever it’s become), but it seems as if that will only be with SQL Server 2005 and not backwards-compatible with 2000.


  3. Matthew Stephen says:

    DeeICE, you don’t need Visual Studio. Reporting Services will install without it. You’re probably thinking of the bright yellow exclamation, warning you that VS is not installed, but if you click next then RS installs just fine.

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