Embedding barcodes in SSRS reports without any client install

Based on experience, can anyone speak to their experience with any libraries or components for embedding linear barcodes (say type EAN-13) in SSRS reports? I've come across two options from the same vendor (IDAutomation) that might prove viable alternatives, but would like some feedback if anyone has experience:

      1. http://www.idautomation.com/barcode-components/reporting-services-cri/

      2. http://www.idautomation.com/font-encoders/dotnet-assembly/

My client won't have an issue with spending say between $500-$1000 for a reliable library or add-on... not to say I'm against a free alternative, but reliability is key. Also, we'd like to avoid any client-side installation, so that appears to rule out barcode fonts (which may then eliminate #2 above... I'm not sure).

Any recommendations are appreciated.
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Vadim RappCommented:
When we needed to put code128 barcode in the report, we achieved it by

1. obtaining code128 font (plenty of freeware on internet)
2. creating udf that encodes the message. I'm pretty sure the code can be found on internet as well, though it's not difficult to write given the algorithm.

Most likely, the same should be possible for EAN13.
jdallen75Author Commented:
@Vadim, doesn't that require installing the font on every client? If so, that won't meet our requirement.
Vadim RappCommented:
>  doesn't that require installing the font on every client?

Yes, it does. If not that, then you need component that will generate graphics. We have been using the product from http://www.dsxtech.com/ for years. But it looks like there's this article that explains how to use this free component
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How are the users running the reports?

If it is a fat client application then the fonts need to reside on the client.  However if you are using a portal type application to run the reports from the server, you may be able to have the fonts just on the server.

We used the Free 3of9 barcode fonts with Crystal.  Not sure if they will work with SSRS.

jdallen75Author Commented:
@mlmcc: sorry, should have included that detail....

The reports are developed in SSRS 2012 and deployed to SharePoint 2013 (so SharePoint integrated mode).

jdallen75Author Commented:
@Vadim, I saw that article on CodeProject, but there is a risk in that. Our client is a multi-national corporation, so using that type of freeware (where you're at the mercy of the 'donor') is commercially risky. As my boss says, he would almost always rather purchase a component from a vendor, even for a token license charge, as you can hold their feet to the fire - it becomes a contract. (For personal use, different story.)
jdallen75Author Commented:
This one may hold promise: http://www.neodynamic.com/products/barcode/cri-ssrs-reporting-services/. I've confirmed with the vendor that no client-side install is required, and it works with versions up to SQL 2014. Will follow-up shortly.

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Vadim RappCommented:
> as you can hold their feet to the fire - it becomes a contract

understood, but even better is to find the software that will just work, and you won't have to spend time on putting the fire under vendor's feet. You try it out, you make sure it works, then you just use it forever, it does not change. For instance, we purchased dsxtech component more than 10 years ago and have been using it ever since without any further contacts with dsxtech, so it might be as well be a freeware. Same as with winrar or winzip, for instance.

On the contrary, if you actually read that very contract with software vendor that you think you have, you will see that they in fact have no obligations at all, and not even when the initial product had a cost, but even when there's ongoing paid service contract. We have been paying Infor Solutions $20K/year for so called "support" of our ERP system, and they scoffed at pretty much all our requests and bug reports, so we eventually dropped it.

I would love to hear someone's experience who was able to actually "hold software vendor's feet to the fire" despite vendor's initial reluctance. So far I saw good vendors and bad vendors, and the correlation with the cost of their product practically does not exist.
jdallen75Author Commented:
I appreciate your comments, Vadim.
jdallen75Author Commented:
It was the best fit, meeting the need for no client-side install
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