We all know SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) is to read data.

However, can SSRS be utilized to update rows or insert rows, and should it?

I am seeing resources here, where you can take user input parameters and update rows. Just inquiring if it is advisable/allowed to use that tool in such a way. Does Microsoft have anything against doing that?

Resources stating this:


If Madeira Data1 shows you how to do it, then I think it's safe to say:

  1. It's possible.
  2. It can be made to work, as evidenced by this paragraph from them:

    It’s especially good when your organization doesn’t have skilled programmers that can create a pretty-looking graphical user interface (GUI). Or when there are budget and / or time restrictions.

Deciding if this kind of setup will work for you is entirely your decision.

1 - Guy Glantser and Matan Yungman are very highly regarded members of the SQL Server ecosystem, and are principals of Madeira Data

  • 4
    As someone who's done it in production because I wasn't a skilled programmer who could make a good GUI. 1) yes it's fun 2) yes it's low budget 3) yes you feel really gross when you know more and think about what you did – Peter Vandivier Feb 11 at 20:57

I've used SSRS for a subset of this kind of activity.

It's not great for using as a full-on data input program for obvious reason, but there's no particular problem with running insert/update/delete statements inside datasets.

What I've tended to use it for is more "clicky" kinds of updates. Where clicking on a hyperlink within a report causes something to happen - be it insert something in to the database, update a value somewhere, etc. And the activity that happens is controlled by the hyperlink passing in the various parameters to control that.

I've tended to use a report where the hyperlink runs a new instance of the same report, but controls what gets updated by passing in new parameters. Mainly so that all the code is in a single report.

I've made a quick demo report to demonstrate the technique in action, if that'll help? Available at: https://github.com/JerBoon/updating_with_SSRS

You can do quite sophisticated stuff within the confines of this technique, but it's definitely not a data entry portal for entering entire rows of data. I'd be interested to hear if anyone's really used it for that in earnest.


It's possible, yes, but scalable not in the manner we would expect.

Depending on your resources, you may find one of these other solutions a better approach:

  1. Use Access Database with a neat GUI that connects to your server table read/write for almost real time changes ~ then use SSRS to build reporting around the data.

  2. Use SSIS package to pick up excel data at the end of the day or early morning and update tables; only if you need once a day updates. It is the same with SSRS to build out reporting.

  3. Build site using MVC, if you have someone on your team that knows Visual Studio C# (or your preferred language) and understands how to bring it all together, security best practices, certificates, etc.

It all depends on your users needs and if it's something that you need to/or should scale up in the future.

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