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We're trying to achieve better reports using native tools from SQL Server 2014.

I'm a DBA, and I don't know so much about c#, c++ and etc.

I know also, that we have Analysis services, SQL Server Data tools, but, long story short, programmers here where I work don't care about anything. They don't want to learn.

Is there a way to help my company, being a DBA ? I love to learn but I have some doubts about what service I can use to achieve reports with graphics, and those reports that bosses love.

If this is a bad question I can delete it with no problem.

My past job, we had an awesome application that uses views and procedures to ( I helped them with views and procedures and query tunning, but not with Visual Basic code ), in real time, update graphics and etc on a web page ( it was awesome ) but we can make it here, because as i said, they don't know and don't have the motivation to learn.

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    Have you looked in SQL Reporting Services? It has a web interface for report delivery (not pretty but funcational), reports with charts, export to PDF, Excel or raw consumption there. Scheduled delivery as well. You can make fairly involved reports. Mar 16 '16 at 20:02
  • Hey @JonathanFite Yes this is what we are using now. But we are trying to do something m ore "pretty". But I really don't know how can I help not being a programmer. even with something programmers would need to do, I accept tips, just to say " oh, I have this, but we really need coders.
    – Racer SQL
    Mar 16 '16 at 21:02
  • Do you have Sharepoint in your environment? You could use Performance Point and SSRS integrated to Sharepoint. As an alternative you can look into PowerBI.com - a microsoft online BI. You can also use Excel PowerView. Or you can just wait for 2016 release of SQL Server where they made SSRS more 'pretty'. Mar 16 '16 at 21:10
  • @VladimirS. is performance point still a thing? It's been discontinued for ages and whatever is left of it is merged into other tools.
    – Tom V
    Mar 16 '16 at 21:51
  • @TomV you are completely right, thank you for pointing that out to me! Mar 17 '16 at 8:54
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If SQL Server 2016 is on your road-map it provides significantly improved SSRS visuals. This should address the "pretty" factor of reports while also incorporating Mobile support and a few additional out-of-the-box charts/graphics/indicators for users. Report Builder is still available for the elusive "power user" to create their own reports.

The "Power" suite of applications (Power View, Power Map) can be incorporated into Excel and SharePoint to mixed degrees and effects and are free depending on version(s). PowerBI is the evolution, combination and refinement of these tools.

PowerBI is a Microsoft technology that works with a variety of data sources with strong emphasis on both "pretty" and actual insight. This is another tool that has placed emphasis on ease of use to help reduce IT load and specialization.

There are plenty of competing non Microsoft solutions that will undoubtedly work with SQL Server 2014.

How to implement? Show a pretty screen cap to senior management and money may free up? Never under-estimate the value of a prototype. Or note the fringe benefits that may become paramount investment points later: SQL Server 2016 offers increased performance, security... oh and they also have some nifty reporting that's included in the license costs.

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As others have stated, Microsoft plans to completely overhaul SSRS for SQL 2016. I have been using SSRS since around 2011. When I first started using SSRS, I was positioned in a DBA/Developer role so I wore many hats.

I started out using Report Builder. It is a very intuitive tool for building reports using a wizard-driven approach. I have never given end users the direct link to the SSRS management page. In one project, we posted a list of direct report links on the Intranet. The list was data driven, so that as reports and folders changed, the list updated. The published links were to the SSRS service URL so that the user did not have to navigate through the standard folder system provided by Microsoft. It also removes the page header which provides links to the management page.

My point is that the platform is excellent, and there is much that can be customized/automated in the back end (SQL Server). However, you are limited to the controls provided, and the custom scripting requires VB. If you want bleeding edge BI presentation, then you will likely need to see what SQL 2016 brings, experiment with a 3rd party BI tool, or roll your own solution using jQuery/HTML5.

If you would like to learn more about SSRS, check out Mickey Stuewe's awesome page of resources: http://mickeystuewe.com/Resources/

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