Azure SQL Data Warehouse
Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a cloud-based, scale-out database capable of processing massive volumes of data for your enterprise workload. With a decoupled storage and compute model, Azure SQL Data Warehousing allows easy scaling of compute in seconds without over-provisioning. Built-in auditing and threat detection, using machine learning to understand your workload patterns, serve as an alarm system to alert you of potential breaches.
- Figure: Azure SQL Data Warehousing
Azure Machine Learning
Machine learning examines large amounts of data by applying statistical techniques, looking for the best pattern to solve a problem, and generates code to recognize those patterns in new data. The generated code can be used to make better predictions and smarter applications.
- Figure: Azure Machine Learning Studio
Azure Data Lake Store
Azure Data Lake Store is the first cloud Data Lake for enterprise unstructured, semi-structured and structured data. With scalable throughput for massively parallel analytics and the ability to store petabyte size files and trillions of objects, organizations can analyze all of their data in a single place with no limits on size.
- Figure: Azure Data Lake Store Conceptual Overview
Azure Data Lake Analytics
An on-demand service, built to make big data analytics easy, where analytic units (processing power) can be scaled in seconds from one to thousands. Hassle-free with no servers, virtual machines, or clusters to wait for, manage, or tune, allows you to focus solely on analysis.
A cloud based business analytics service, allowing anyone to visualize and analyze data with greater speed, efficiency and understanding. Power BI ships out of the box with over 60 content packs for all the major applications.
Before Power BI, getting a BI platform up and running in an organization would require a product like SQL Server Reporting or Analytics Services, which would usually mean upfront cost for hardware, licenses and consulting time. Once initial setup was completed, there would also be the effort required to create the reporting models, reports and dashboards.
We love Power BI so much that it has a consulting page all to itself at Power BI Consulting.
SQL Server Reporting Services
Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services provides an integrated, end-to-end set of tools for creating, managing, and delivering reports. It includes a scalable engine, for server-based hosting and processing of reports. Reports can be delivered across an organization in HTML/PDF/Excel formats from a central server, or integrated into Windows applications. Report delivery can also be scheduled, and sent via email. Best of all, Reporting Services is a value-add that comes free with SQL Server.
The SSW team has been writing custom reports since the very first version of Reporting Services in SQL 2000. Since then, our feedback to Microsoft has driven many new features introduced in the SQL 2008 R2 version and onwards, up to the current SQL Server 2016.
- Figure: Today SQL Reporting Services is the mainstream choice for reporting
SQL Report Builder
SQL Report Builder is a tool that comes free with SQL Server 2005 onwards, allowing non-technical users to easily create simple reports. The user interface is intuitive and familiar to anyone who has created reports in MS Access. SSW Consulting can work with you to identify where best to use the Report Builder in your organization. We can help you configure the environment, and train your users in effective report creation.
PerformancePoint Services (SharePoint Server 2013)
Microsoft PerformancePoint Services is a Business Intelligence application in SharePoint 2013 that puts business critical information in the hands of users to monitor, analyze and plan.
- Figure: Business users can create reports with PerformancePoint's Dashboard Designer. More on PerformancePoint Consulting
PowerPivot gives users the power to create compelling self-service BI solutions, facilitating sharing and collaboration on user-generated BI solutions in a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 environment, and enables IT organizations to increase operational efficiencies through Microsoft SQL Server management tools. SSW can you help you design BI solutions with PowerPivot, as standalone Excel documents or integrated into SharePoint 2013.
- Figure: Excel with PowerPivot AddIn
Excel Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 is designed to help organizations analyze business data and increase business intelligence. Excel Services is a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 shared service used to publish Microsoft Excel client workbooks. The published workbooks are available throughout your organization for knowledge workers to use.
MYOB provides a simple reporting engine allowing for the customization of reports. However, this reporting engine has a limited number of features. SSW Consulting can help you migrate your MYOB data to a SQL Server database and develop custom Reporting Service reports, opening up the full advantages of SQL Reporting Services including interactive reports, report scheduling and subscription, various report formats (HTML, Excel, PDF), and multiple delivery options, such as web application or windows application.
Crystal Reports had been the premier reporting solution for many years, at one stage being bundled with Microsoft Visual Studio 2003 - 2008. SSW has plenty of experience with custom Crystal Reports solutions, and can provide any level of assistance for projects using this technology.
Microsoft Access has a simple, yet powerful, report creation feature, which can be driven from an Access or SQL Server backend. Generally, SSW recommends migrating these to SQL Server Reporting Services.
SSW has developed a product to bring some of the advantages of SQL Reporting Services to Access. SSW Access Reporter allows organizations to publish Access reports over the web, where previously they could only be displayed on the local computer.
Excel 2013 features powerful and easy to use tools to create reports from your OLAP cubes and relational data. This includes slicing and dicing, filtering and sorting.
Additionally, with SharePoint 2013 Excel Services, you can now publish your excel spreadsheets on the web, allowing non-technical people such as BA and accountants to create and deploy meaningful reports.
XSL FO is a document engine based on XML data and XSL style sheets to render the data. This allows for a very flexible document engine that is more adept at producing documents rather than reports. This is a limitation that some of the other reporting technologies, mentioned on this page, struggle to deal with. The other technologies are very good at creating reports but not so good at creating a document.
For example, producing a document with a list of questions, showing two questions per page, listed horizontally, is very difficult to do in Reporting Services and other reporting engines, but relatively easy to do in XML FO.