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Archive for the ‘SQL Server’ Category

Alternative to Reporting Services (SSRS)

January 11, 2014 Leave a comment

SQL Server Reporting Services is a popular choice for creating, deploying, and managing reports.  But there are many occasions when it is an overkill or the data source is not SQL Server.  Sunset Reports provides an attractive alternative that provides most of the features of SSRS and many features that SSRS doesn’t provide.  Sunset Reports is easier to learn, is simple to install and use, and is less expensive.

Sunset Reports provides a great award winning Report Designer, a powerful visual query builder, the ability to connect to almost any database, a huge list of export and file formats, and numerous features to deliver the reports to the user.   Sunset Reports can act as a report server with a true Windows based process running in the background.  As a report server it can push reports to users, but it can also respond to emails when a user wants to pull a report.   With the ability to schedule reports and have them queued up, you have everything you need to manage document delivery.  And since reports can also be saved as a web page, Sunset Reports can build web pages and FTP them directly to your website.

So if you are looking for another option besides SSRS, or any other report designer, then look carefully at Sunset Reports.

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Compare Toolbars with SQL Server

March 8, 2013 Leave a comment

In the following figure we have compared the report designer toolbars between SQl Server Report Builder and Sunset Reports.

SQL Server vs Sunset Reports Toolbar

SQL Server vs Sunset Reports Toolbar

The red arrows show a match with the toolbar items between the two software programs.  SQL Server only a rectangle as a shape while Sunset Reports provides 23 shapes.

The items on the bottom of the figure with a blue callout show items that Sunset Reports has and SQL Server does not have.

For the items on the top toolbar with a green callout:

1 – List (This is the default report format in Sunset Reports and does not need a button)

2 – Data Bar (This is a new control coming in an upcoming release of Sunset Reports.  In the meantime, you can use a horizontal bar chart or a horizontal bar gauge)

3 – Sparkline (This is a new control coming in an upcoming release of Sunset Reports.  In the meantime, you can use a line chart)

Stored Procedures

January 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Sunset Reports provides many options for connecting to data.   This includes:

  1. Direct Connection to Microsoft Access Tables and Queries
  2. Direct Connection to DSN defined ODBC Connections
  3. Direct Connection to Microsoft SQL Server
  4. Direct Connection to Oracle
  5. Direct Connection to MySQL
  6. and others….

There are also a many options using OLD EB and ODBC connection strings as well as Excel, Outlook, XML, and CSV files.

In general connecting to a table, query, or view is straightforward.   But you can also connect to a stored procedure by defining the SQL directly.  And you can pass parameters to those stored procedures as well.

In the following figure, you can see a a stored procedure defined in the SQL block.  This can be edited directly on this form.

1-24-2013 10-10-49 AM

As long as you have a valid ODBC, PDC, SDC, or QB Connection, you should be all set to retrieve data from stored procedures.   This implementation is similar in functionality to Microsoft Access Pass-Thru Queries.

MS SQL Server Reporting Tool

May 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Sunset Reports offers several methods of connecting to SQL Server databases that makes it a good choice for creating reports.

Using the built-in Query builder you can connect directly to a SQL Server database as shown in the next figure.

The Query Builder also supports SQL Dialects for different versions of SQL Server.

Even in the Report Designer, you can use the Report Wizard and make a connection to SQL Server…

 

But of course, you can simply use the ODBC connection if you choose.