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ASP.Net with SSRS vs Crystal Reports

ASP.Net with SSRS vs Crystal Reports

I am beginning a new project and, against my better judgement, we are using SSRS rather than Crystal Reports. I have never been impressed with SSRS but I have use it in a couple of situations where it was just easier to install and let users run reports from the server. But now I am developing an application with Visual Studio and I can't seem to find one critical piece of development information.

Can I build an SSRS report and call it without integrating it into my project? With Crystal Reports, it is easy enough to build a report and either read the files in the directory or add the new CR to a database table and have it dynamically added to a menu or listbox then open it with the OpenReport command.

Can a RDL / RDLC file be executed the same way or does the project need to be recompiled every time a new report is added.

If there is some documentation I've missed, PLEASE point me there!

Thanks for the help!

RE: ASP.Net with SSRS vs Crystal Reports

I faced the same decision for our projects and I came to the conclusion that there is pros and cons to SSRS and CR. In some cases I found that one is better and vice versa depending on the customer and the type of report. So I came up with this solution that is pretty simple and lets the customer do what they want and redesign reports as needed.

I created a table that contains the reports listed by a number reference and the list of parameters associated with each one.

In the same table there is a "Type" column that indicates the type of reports to call : either CR, SSRS or an external dll call by name.

And columns to set the URL for SSRS, call name if a dll or report file for CR.

In the code I have a "Helper" that reads the corresponding row when I give it the number and executes whatever is needed to generate the report.

This way you have the flexibility you need and the decision you take now for a specific report can be changed later without having to recompile anything. It's a bit of work but worth it on the long run

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