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access to MS Reporting Services

Posted on 2006-06-17
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Will I have any problem to transfer existing Access Reports(from Access 97 database) to MS Reporting Services
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Question by:maximyshka
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by:Ido Millet
ID: 16928236
Wrong forum, but here's a document describing Crystal --> Reporting Services.  You can follow the same logic: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/whitepapers/migrate-crystal-to-reporting-services.mspx

- Ido
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mlmcc earned 250 total points
ID: 16928251
I assume you are also transitioning to an MS SQL database.

There shouldn't be any problem.

We migrated our entire Access database to MS SQL several years ago.  We used Crystal Reports for the reporting tool.

All tables and queries moved to MS SQL without any problem.

You can even cut and paste queries from Access to MS SQL.  You need to remove the ; at the end.

Also if there are filters in the queries that use form values or prompts they need to be stored procedures rather than MS SQL views.

I don't know of any tools that migrate MS Access reports to Reporting Services but it shouldn't be a big problem to do the migration manually.  

mlmcc
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by:Kurt Reinhardt
ID: 16930320
FYI - the MS whitepaper Ido posted has a number of discrepancies:

1)  It was specifically written for CR 8.5 Vs. the report design component of MS Reporting Services 2005, which is an extremely unfair comparison since 8.5 has been around since 2001.  The correct comparison would be Crystal Reports XI vs. MS Reporting Services Report Builder 2005.  Additionally, it compares Crystal Reports Server to MS Reporting Services.  Since Crystal Reports Server has less functionality that BusinessObjects Enterprise XI, this is also an unfair comparison.

2)  Under export formats, only Word, Excel and PDF are listed for Crystal Reports Server.  This is inaccurate, especially since Crystal is known for being able to export to a variety of formats.  Crystal Reports server actually lets you export to:

Crystal Reports
Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Character Separated
Editable Rich Text
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Excel (data only)
Microsoft Word (RTF)
Paginated Text
Plain Text
Rich Text
Tab Separated Text
Tab Separated Values

3)  Under delivery channels, MAPI is listed, when it should not be.  However, interal portal inboxes are supported as an additional delivery channel.

4)  Under Parameters, Dynamic Parameters can be created without Business Views or Universes

5)  Under Data Region:  "Must use several detail sections, subreports, and user functions" - while one can do this, it's not required except for complex reports.

6)  Multiple Data Regins:  "Not available" is not true - you can have multiple tables, charts, etc...  You could use a stored procedure as the basis for returning these regions or use subreports.

7)  Export - not just through viewers, but through scheduling and default values, too

~Kurt
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by:Ido Millet
ID: 16930341
Hi Kurt,

You are absolutely correct.  2 weeks ago I alerted a product manager in Business Objects to the inaccuracies in this white paper. I assume you won't mind if I forward your comments to him as well.

Cheers,
- Ido
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by:Kurt Reinhardt
ID: 16930920
Not at all.  I know some of the product managers as well, so I'm going to forward them on.  I wouldn't be surprised if there was some legal action as a result of this.

~Kurt
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by:janmarini
ID: 16931737

Ido's correct that you will probably get more help with SSRS if you post a link to this question from the Microsoft SQL topic area.  I'm currently exploring migrating Crystal Reports to SSRS 2005 and am having a heck of a time, especially since most of my reports are very complex - I'm finding it hard to get examples showing advanced techniques.  Good luck to you.
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Expert Comment

by:Kurt Reinhardt
ID: 16935980
FYI - here's a link to a company that will convert "...about 60%-80% of the Crystal Reports design..." as a service.  Their url is:

rpttosql.com

I recommend checking out their FAQ section, however:

http://rpttosql.com/faq.htm

Also, Hitachi used to have a tool for performing the conversion, but it is no longer available.  Personally, I think it might have violated a Crystal Reports license agreement, but I could be wrong.

~Kurt
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by:Kurt Reinhardt
ID: 16936048
FYI, here's a .pdf I found from a company that has or had a tool to convert Crystal to SSRS:

http://www.tcs.com/Microsoft2005Launch/download/Microsoft_Recast.pdf

Based on one of the highlights, however, I t hink that this is still a partial conversion that will require manual cleanup.

Additionally, I found the following:

http://www.ktlsolutions.com/t-crystalconverter.aspx



~Kurt
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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 16956585
Hello Janmarini. How do you compare SSRC 2005 to Crystal Reports?

<<Comment from janmarini
Date: 06/18/2006 08:40PM PDT
      Comment      


Ido's correct that you will probably get more help with SSRS if you post a link to this question from the Microsoft SQL topic area.  I'm currently exploring migrating Crystal Reports to SSRS 2005 and am having a heck of a time, especially since most of my reports are very complex - I'm finding it hard to get examples showing advanced techniques.  Good luck to you.>>
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Assisted Solution

by:janmarini
janmarini earned 250 total points
ID: 16957003

That's a tough question...  And I don't think there is (yet) a clearly defined aswer.

(I posted a similar cross-referenced question to both SQL Server and Crystal - and haven't had many responses, which is not the norm on this site.   Maybe SSRS 2005 is too new?).

On one hand I've been using CR and building applications around it for many, many years.  It's been frustrating at times, but I've always been able to accomplish just about any kind of reporting requirement requested (sometimes blew my mind away initially - I *think* to tell the users to just use Excel! [but that's not the answer] - and usually within a week I can come up with a solution using Crystal for the most complex reports.)  I trust Crystal completely to be able to handle just about anything.  

The Crystal Designer interface is very similar (but different) to Access.  If you migrate to Crystal I think you would have to re-create your reports, but I think the transition would be relatively painless.  I've done this in the past:  just set the Access Report Designer side-by-side with the Crystal Report Designer - it's a snap using Access as the model.  Tedious, but not too bad.  I haven't kept up with conversion tools, there might be some - other experts here might be able to provide some suggestions.

On the other hand, I have been asked to prototype our existing Crystal reports to SSRS 2005 and am finding it troublesome.  I am still in the evaluation phase (3 weeks).  I started with the most simple reports - a tabular report displaying some details in one of our SQL tables.  EASY!  But not easy at all as I try to push it further...

If your reports are primarily tabular, matrix or graphical - then SSRS 2005 would be a good tool, and I would highly recommend it.  Especially if you want to want to also implement security and subscription features, or give the users the ability to create ad-hoc reports.  

Bottom Line:

Original Question:  
Will I have any problem to transfer existing Access Reports(from Access 97 database) to MS Reporting Services?

Answer:  

No, if the reports are primarily tabular, cross-tab (matrix), or graphs and use the pre-defined  settings.  SSRS 2005 is a great tool for this.

Yes, you will have problems if you need to manipulate the datasource, dataset, functions, parameters or presentation through code. I am documenting issues that I have run across.  Working on it.

Jan
 

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by:mlmcc
ID: 16964642
Glad i could help

mlmcc
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