Way back at the Microsoft Partner Conference I saw a short demo of RSInteract. This is a totally web based report building tool that sits over SQL Server Reporting Services (2000/5) and I was impressed.
Today I had a web demo of it again including the new OLAP report building in the new release. As always in a demo there is a lot to take in but some of the things I really liked were:
- It is very light weight being a pure web app.
- The ability to edit an existing report is very easy.
- The user can preview the changes without having to commit them.
- Multiple combinations of tables and graphs can be built into one report. This is a really nice feature.
- The functionality and UI has been broken up in a nice easy to understand manner.
- None of the underlying Reporting Services power and functionality has been lost. It is just made easier.
The down sides to this silver bullet of report writing are:
- It does not use the report models for relational data sources. You have to create and expose views for the end user.
- there is an additional cost over and above SQL Server Licences. That said when compared to other ad-hoc report builders in the market it is still cheap with what appears to be much greater functionality.
I have just installed it and will be evaluating it myself over the coming week so more later.
Does anyone have any experiance with this product or something similar for comparison?