Reporting Services - typical Microsoft

  • I too do not understand the logic “Microsoft produced and incomplete product”.  What product is incomplete, SQL, it did not lose any functionality since you made your decision to purchase it, just the opposite.  The point is, it is free, a bonus, it was not a factor in your decision to purchase your SQL license. Now with Yukon I might better understand your position, consumers would be purchasing it based on RS being bundled with it.


    “that allow them to give away”.  Applying to this logic would mean that anybody who has significantly more wealth than the next person ($120,000 vs. $20,000)  should “give away” to that person.  Should the prosperous be penalized?  It is all relative.


    In response to an earlier post, conversion from a Crystal report to a SQL RS report can occur.

  • MS gives things away for a very specific reason.  To crush competition.  They can do this because they have monopolies in two very important software categories.  Using a monopoly that you have in one market to influence competition in another market is ILLEGAL.  However, the government has chosen not to enforce that law  In this case they are giving away a product that is, out of the box, unusable (i.e. incomplete).  You have to purchase a tool to use it.  They make it sound like the tool they're giving you is part of your SQL license but you have to buy other licensed software to use it.  Yes, you could hand code an XML file to create the report definition (good luck) but be realistic no one is going to be able to do that for anything but the most simple of reports.

  • It is interesting that Microsoft is a Crystal partner and bundles peices of Crystal with VB.  Microsoft is also denying that SSRS is a direct competitor against the Crystal product.  I wonder how long that will last???  I am sure that Crystal/Bussiness Objects will still be very popular in the large corporations due to a diverse db engine environment.  However, once the full product is released with Yukon, SSRS could find its way into many smaller shops and become the reporting tool of choice.

  • Using a monopoly in one market to influence competition in another is not illegal. It's only illegal if and only if the consumer is negatively affected. Now, that's something that can be argued about. For instance, if I'm the only one to make a particular product in a niche category, it isn't illegal for me to turn around and use my earnings from that niche to play in a different category. It would be illegal if I used my influence across categories to negatively impact the consumer. Now, as to whether or not Microsoft has done that is very much up for debate with legal opinion siding that Microsoft's control of the software market being negative to the consumer.

    As far as the product itself, it is complete. While you may not like the interfaces at your disposal, that doesn't change the fact the tool works. I'll use an analogy...

    I go to your local car dealer and I come home with a nice car. The dealer was nice and even topped off the gas for me. However, less than a week later, the car comes to a screeching halt. I go to turn the ignition and the starter tries to fire, but the car isn't turning back on. Frustrated, I call the car dealer. The technician walks me through the problem and then asks me to look at my gas gauge, which is sitting on E. The technician tells me the problem is the car is out of gas. I then scream that the car is incomplete because the dealer didn't include all the gas I'd need for the life time of the car. Moreover, it didn't refill automatically. The technician tells me, "Go get some gas," and hangs up the phone.

    And as far as XML files by hand, you'd be surprised. On my system right now I have VS.NET installed but I'm writing ASP.NET pages using TextPad at the moment. Why am I not using VS.NET which is tremendously more powerful? It's a matter of scope. What I'm doing is simple, quick, easy. I don't need the full power of VS.NET and I certainly don't want to deal with the overhead. Now another project I have in a couple of weeks, I won't even consider using TextPad because I will need the VS.NET features. The right tool for the job...


    K. Brian Kelley

  • Your car analogy is way off base.  A more appropriate analogy would be if after you bought your car the dealership rolled out all the parts and said all you have to do now is build it.  Of course we can do that for a nominal fee.

    Also, I've done a lot of XML and XSLT coding by hand and develop most of my web applications with a text editor.  Is that a realistic design interface for a report designer, hardly.

    As for Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior, it's not a opinion is was provend in court and upheld on appeal.  The only debate is whether you grasp the concept of what anti-competitve behavior is and it's consequences.  it's easy to say that you like the way things are now but you can never know what they could have been if their behavior hadn't crushed the competition.

  • What about this analogy.  You get Netscape for free but you have to buy Internet access to use it.  I suppose you could use it for simple stuff to view your photos or something without Internet access.  Is that wrong of them to do that?

  • The point I've made and the point I think you are missing is the pricing is based on a license for SQL Server and Analysis Services. That hasn't changed. Reporting Services is being thrown in. But the BASE product is still SQL Server. You aren't having to build SQL Server are you? No. And that's what you are paying for. You aren't paying a full-blown SQL Server license fee just to get Reporting Services.

    As far as the phrase "legal opinion," you are taking the word opinion out of context. A legal opinion is defined by one source as, "the legal document document stating the reasons for a judicial decision." A legal opinion was issued based on the findings of the case against Microsoft.

    Having done acquisitions (and certified in it) for the US government, I understand very well what anti-competitive behavior is and its consequences. A monopoly in and of itself is not illegal. A monopoly that hurts the consumer is. As an example of legal monopolies, I give you Major League Baseball.


    K. Brian Kelley

  • Further to my last post I just remembered, there is supposed to be an MSAccess to SQL Reporting services upgrade wizard included in the product. I haven't tried it out yet, but this means you could use Access as your report designer.



  • Are you running IIS? When you bought IIS did MS include a free tool for development of web pages? I think not. Have you ever written or updated HTML in Notepad? I bet you have.  You may have found a free tool through freeware or open source, but web page development is a much more diverse and mature market. I'm sure as SSRS becomes widely implemented there will be not only commercial partners offering alternative report design products, but shareware, freeware and open source products that will interface with SSRS.

    The product is not "incomplete", it is what it says it is: a Reporting Service. That does not imply a Report Designer. Look at the structure of Crystal. If you want to deploy reports on a server with scheduled reporting and URL access you need Crystal Enterprise on a server, but you still have to pay for Crystal Designer to write the reports. Why should MS be any different? They added a FREE Reporting SERVER to SQL. What's the big deal about having to buy a Report Designer?


  • Couple of comments to add --

    Get the VB.NET designer and remove the VB.NET files after loading the RS builder.  This has been tested and make the Visual Studio IDE a "report designer."

    Some third party design tools are already in the works.  Check out:

    Overall, I really like the product as it is simple to work with and we are already using it for "drill-through" analytic data.

    Steve Hughes, Magenic Technlogies

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