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Reporting Solution: SQL Reporting Services/Excel/Xcelsius/SharePoint Services/others

Posted on 2006-11-28
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Last Modified: 2008-01-16
Hi Experts,

I'm in search of an improved methodology to the way I'm currently doing this report. I've read about various applications eg. SQL Reporting Services, Xcelsius, SharePoint Services and others. I'm hoping the experts here can recommend a solution for my current situation.

Inputs from multiple users:
- Numbers or Text currently manually entered in a tabular format, in MS Excel.
- Large amount of text making up executive summaries, currently entered into text box in MS Excel.

Output of Report in print and online:
- Report with page numbers
- Elements included in the report consist of
     1. numbers or text in tabular format - input from users
     2. Graphs based on info/numbers collected - graphs based on user input
     3. executive summaries (large amount of text) - input from users
     4. tables showing statuses of tasks, currently statuses are shown by images pasted in excel, ie big red dot to resemble urgent/attention required status - input from users

My Current role: Consolidate the excel workbooks, manually insert page numebrs and publish the report in printable format and online. It is more of an administrative role where users are dependent on me to check data consistency/spelling etc.

Constraints:
- Optimal if current input format can be kept in Excel and format of templates remains largely unchanged, but I'm open to other suggestions
- Ideal if process becomes more of a push process, ie users can see the changes they have made dynamically and are responsible for their own input.
- Optimal if the recommended solution can accomodate future needs like extracting raw data from various databases



Thank you!
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Question by:salesprod
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Yurich earned 2000 total points
ID: 18031690
IMHO, you need a web application which is used over your intranet for user input and interfacing your reports; database (sql server 2000-2005) for your data storage; ms reporting services, querying the database and displaying dynamic (if you wish) output in any forms suitable for any particular report. you'll have to do of course data conversion from your excell sheets and it will involve quite a big financial investment.

In fact, There're too many ways to go... like you can keep your excell and if you going to getting sql server, you can run dts packages to transfer data from excel into sql server and then create reports, you can schedule the jobs for your dts pakages to automate the tasks. OR you can use ODBC drivers to connect to your excell sheets directly form ms reporting services... OR you can try crystal reports and if you have visual studio 2000 or later, there's crystal reports plug in and you can create reports right in the studio and don't have to buy a whole package.

good luck,
yurich
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