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sunny-j
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Reporting Software for SQL server

Greetings Experts,
I want to enable one of our staff members to use a reporting software to view information within our sql server. What is the best software out there to do this to enable a user to design reports and download data in a excel format for reporting purposes.

Kind regards. SJ
Crystal ReportsDatabasesSSRS

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Koen Van Wielink

8/22/2022 - Mon
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Phillip Burton

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Koen Van Wielink

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James Elliott

The ODBC => Excel option combined with Power Pivot is my favourite for quick deployment. I would also contest the view that you cannot make these look & feel 'slick'  ;)
Koen Van Wielink

Hi James,

I agree, forgot about power pivot actually. And using excel 2010 and above with some slicers and pivot charts you can make some pretty things.
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sunny-j

ASKER
Thank you all for your valuable comments. Yes, the user is very good with spreadsheets but unlikely to know much about SQL syntax so the suggestion that we could link the spreadsheet direct to the server may be very useful. The objective is to extract data and show certain findings so once we can get the raw data into csv format, we can pretty much work out what we need.
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James Murphy
Phillip Burton

Sounds like creating a model in PowerPivot is your answer then.
sunny-j

ASKER
Thanks Phillip, just discovered that our office/business versions of excel 2013 do not appear to support PowerPivot. Is that right? or is it possible to download the add-in. Kind regards.
Phillip Burton

Sadly, it is not just possible to download the add-in. It's very annoying.

I've come across this before - I've got a list of the various Excel flavours in my article "Mapping GPS photographs by time", which uses a similar tool (Power Map). The monthly subscription is about £10/month (about US$15/month) to Office365 ProPlus.

This Microsoft website confirms the versions shown in my article - https://support.office.com/client/Start-Power-Pivot-in-Microsoft-Excel-2013-addin-a891a66d-36e3-43fc-81e8-fc4798f39ea8
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Koen Van Wielink

Hmmm, that's very sneaky as it's not clearly mentioned anywhere that not all Excel 2013 versions support the Add-in. In fact, this link seems to suggest all versions do:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/14224.powerpivot-version-compatibility.aspx

You don't mention which version of Office you guys are using but I'm guessing it's the Home & Business 2013 edition. A little more digging finds the following:

Power View and Power Pivot are available in the Office Professional Plus and Office 365 Professional Plus editions, and in the standalone edition of Excel 2013.

As Phillip already mentioned, the Office 365 versions come with a monthly subscription so you can try it for a few months and if you don't like it, discontinue. But even buying a single Pro Plus license isn't going to break the bank, so it's still an interesting option to explore. I've only glanced at Power Pivot myself and never actually built any reports with it, but it's seriously powerful and can do a lot of things in the right hands. If you combine it with PowerQuery it gets even more interesting. Just make sure you allow your user enough time to learn how everything works. It's not overly complex but not as easy as a simple spreadsheet either, and depending on previous experience with data manipulation it can be a bit of a learning curve.