Izenda & SQL Server Reporting Services

Full text


Comparing an IT-Centric Reporting Tool

and a Self-Service Embedded BI Platform

Izenda & SQL Server Reporting Services


The reporting tools that come with the relational database management

system (RDMBS) your organization uses can be valuable — just not as a business intelligence solution. These tools are designed for database administrators and other technical personnel, but are not ideal as a business intelligence platform.

They work well as a basic data engine for early stage reporting against a database, but will most likely not be a good fit for your application’s ongoing BI needs.

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a case in point. Microsoft says its SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is “a server-based reporting platform that provides comprehensive reporting functionality for a variety of data sources.”

Many organizations inherited this software with the purchase of their SQL Server licenses,.

SSRS Not Designed for Use by End Users

Technical limitations of SSRS make it difficult for anyone outside of the IT department to put it to use. Users must understand SQL Server Management Studio.

Either developers or DBAs

— or both — are needed just to produce a standard report. End users need to iteratively explore data and analyze information in real-time, but that is lost every time they have

to ask for yet another report from IT.

The end user:

• Can’t create or customize the reports, dashboards and data visualizations.

• Can’t add new columns or remove columns.

• Can’t build a new report from scratch.

• Can’t add in charts and graphs and visualizations on top of that data set.

Izenda & SQL Server Reporting Services

End users need to

iteratively explore

data and analyze

information in



Architectural Limitations

An organization trying to make use of SSRS faces challenges immediately. Multi-tenant applications are not supported right “out of the box” at all. All security, group/role/tenant based security must be near hard coded, in terms of data restrictions as well as feature differences between roles. The benefits of sharing software development and maintenance costs also are lost. Rather than a single touch to make updates, tenants must be updated individually. The

ISV or solution provider is saddled with an application that requires constant participation and fulfillment by IT staff and DBAs, and multiple touches when updates are needed.

Security, User Roles & Access Rights

For SSRS, user rights and roles in the application can’t be easily restricted or varied by role. These security measures would have to be custom developed and maintained by IT.

Security has to be tied in very closely with how the reports are written for each tenant and each user. It may require building a new security model around SSRS to lock down the data people can access in their reports.

Izenda inherits the application’s security model. Values can be assigned to roles or users. Izenda offers support without heavy customization whether the application uses sessions, database tables or any other login and

authentication method.

Configuration Can Takes Months — or Longer

An SSRS configuration likely will take months longer and must be handled by IT, DBAs and business analysts. In the end, other reporting tools will be needed to provide the full solution an organization needs.

An integrated platform is more easily deployed than SSRS. Typically, an Izenda integration would require a single technical lead to seamlessly embed the BI platform for end users. End users can be given access to the Dashboard Design/

Viewer tool to create their own reports and dashboards, using the data they need to analyze.

End users can be

given access to the

Izenda Dashboard


tool to create their

own reports and

dashboards, using

the data they need

to analyze.


Ongoing Maintenance Can Be Costly

The cost of maintenance of an attempted BI solution with SSRS will be higher as it can only be maintained by the IT department. Developing an intelligent BI solution in-house will be a long process, and updates must be conducted on individual users’ computers.

Izenda will future proof your business intelligence platform upgrades and updates, adding next generation capabilities with a single update necessary for multiple clients.

SSRS Not Suited to Self-Service or Real-Time


A distinct lack of self-service BI functionality makes SSRS unsatisfactory for any non-IT or power user. All reports will need to be developed by IT or a DBA — if the organization has one on staff. Not only do reports have to be prebuilt, but there is only limited functionality to allow changes to existing reports. That means for SSRS, no real-time engagement can be accomplished, as all new reports must be developed by technical staff.

Gartner predicts that by 2017, most business users and analysts in organizations will have access to self-service tools to prepare data for analysis.

SSRS is, in essence, the starting solution for use to start building out a reporting system. Because SSRS is tied down to a developer and a DBA, it’s unscalable.

This creates a bottleneck for end users looking for new reports, which will limit the analytics that are available to make business decisions.

Izenda is a self-service BI platform that allows end users to create and customize reports and dashboards without requiring IT

or other technical resources.

Easy Migration from SSRS

Izenda’s platform doesn’t need to create complex data sources that are developed in SSRS. Instead of having to hard code SSRS queries and report layouts, Izenda lets

users drag and drop fields, filter, sum and aggregate data, to create reports in

Gartner predicts

that by 2017, most

business users

and analysts in

organizations will

have access to

self-service tools

to prepare data for



Additional Requirements for Power BI Add to Complexity, Cost

To address limitations that frequently arise as applications and users

expectations evolve, implementing Power BI is considered. Unfortunately, to start using Power BI you will need:

• Excel 2013 (which includes Power Map, Power View and Power Pivot) and the Power Query add-in. This will let you create reports that can be later consumed with the Power BI for Office 365 service.

• To take advantage of Excel workbook features and functionality in Power BI for Office 365, you need Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus 2013,

each of which is a separate offering, and neither is included in the license for Power BI for Office 365.

• To refresh your data from on-premises sources, you will need to install the Data Management Gateway.

Layering more applications with even more technical requirements adds complexity to the patchwork BI solution – and adds to the cost.

At the end of the day, PowerBI will let users build reports and dashboards off of disparate data sources, but those must be built and published in Microsoft desktop tools. So only consumption of reports can occur on mobile devices and not creation or customization.

The data has to be managed and secured by power users or IT. So you still rely on DBAs and developers to set up all of the security rights to all of these disparate data sources. Scalability is an issue because at every point, every user has to manually enter control, data sources have to be meticulously tracked, and you cannot embed any real part of the Power BI experience into your own standalone application. End users will not be able to self-service using Power BI.

Layering more


with even

more technical

requirements adds

complexity to

the patchwork BI

solution – and adds

to the cost.


Can inherit master pages and shared layouts dynamically for instant re-styling and unified navigation.

Built on standards-based

technologies like Angular, CSS3, HTML5, jQuery, Bootstrap that are easily editable.


Minimal options for branding.

Can only edit viewer controls that are put within your page, not part of the application itself.

Little to no formatting capabilities.


Inherits your security model (Active directory, Windows au- thentication, credentials stored in database, and more)

Rides along with existing SSO authentication models.

Leverages existing SSO authenti- cation models

Easy-to-implement user, role, report and row-level security


Need to access local machines.

Uses RDP into web or database servers for full capabilities.

Does not support all multi-tenant scenarios.


Izenda vs. SRSS Head-to-Head Comparison


Integration ready web platform.

Accessed from any web browser.

100% Web Based, Deployment Ready Platform, Fully Exposed HTML, JS, CSS


Desktop/server based, as it relies on being connected to a DB.

Locally installed.

Publishing mechanisms can be .NET based; can publish reports on the web.

Type of Application


Responsively designed.

Faster report creation and modification geared toward business users.



Must know SQL.

Added complexity because designed for a developer.

Made to build timely, complex reports from scratch.


A solution you can buy off-the- shelf that will embed within your application in days, but can also be heavily customized through a native, .NET API.

Consistent development and innovation.


Options exist for static reports and exposing parameterized filters in app. Additional modifications, saving or sharing do not exist.

Developers build customer reports for the user base.

Integration & Customization Ability to offer ad-hoc reporting to business users.

Dashboards and Visualizations.

Self-Service Business Intelligence solution within your application;

your clients rely less on other third- party tools.


Same offering as the masses – no differentiation.

Ad-hoc only for developers.

No dashboarding, sharing or scheduling of reports.

Must know SQL.


Izenda vs. SRSS Head-to-Head Comparison


Compatible with all major mobile devices.

No need to develop a mobile app – just use the web browser.


Not fully-functional on all browsers or devices.

Must install and access report de- signer on local machine.

Mobile Compatibility Minimal

One-time integration process Self-service capability

Many modifications can be made that drive better business deci- sions and outcomes


Relies on expensive and re-

source-constrained IT workers who often have other priorities

Hidden cost of free reporting never becomes well defined.

IT Reliance

Sharing, scheduling, alerting, filtering and archiving automate


No out-of-the-box scheduler or sharing for users through a web Automation

Instant Reports for casual users.

Automated layout reports for fast design and sharing.

Viewer page for quick changes.

Dashboard designer for all users Modify Izenda interfaces or create your own.


Must be trained in Visual Studio.

No in-between for easy modi- fications or report creation for non-power users.

Set interfaces designed by Micro- soft--not customizable.

No true ad-hoc for non- developers.


Izenda vs. SRSS Head-to-Head Comparison


Izenda, Inc.

5775 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road Building C STE 300



The Clear Choice for Seamlessly Embedded Self-Service BI

Easy to set up. Easy to use. Izenda is an integration-ready .NET web application that allows organizations with on premise, cloud, SaaS, and enterprise applications to deliver modern self-service reports, dashboards, and visualizations. End-users securely interact with personalized content through a rich, 100% web-based interface without needing IT and database experience.

Izenda provides the next-generation real-time dashboards modern users demand right out of the box. Izenda allows end users to instantly add fields and filters, schedule reports and alerts, pivot, drill down and export data. Izenda provides easy to use drag- and-drop designers and Google-like search functionality in report creation.

From this… To this

Izenda 6.9 Update Simplifies Dashboard Customization

Izenda’s new dashboards couldn’t be easier to use, as we’ve combined designing and viewing into one seamless interface. New tiles can be added simply by clicking into an empty space, and selecting a report and part, such as a chart, gauge, or detail.

Backgrounds for Dashboards can be customized with colors and pictures.

Customizing dashboards is a snap with Izenda’s self-service and user-friendly embedded BI and analytics platform.

Most tools on the market have distinct dashboard designers and viewers often on separate servers or on a desktop. Izenda puts both design and view in one place. This update continues to improve the platform’s usability for technical as well as non- technical users. Dashboard tiles can be dragged and dropped and also resized on the fly. There’s no limit to the number of tiles that can be added to dashboards.