Power BI vs SSRS

Updated on January 2, 2024
Article byJeevan A Y
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Difference Between Power BI and SSRS

The SSRS and Power BI are the report generating softwares. But, there are some major differences between those two. In SSRS, the reports have more manual interventions and many manual steps, which takes time and makes it hectic for the user. However, in Power BI, the same functions are available with a click of a button.

Power BI is a SaaS data visualization and analysis tool used to analyze data and get insights into the data. It has very user-friendly features and tools. Whereas SSRS, which stands for “SQL Server Reporting Services,” is a completely server-based reporting tool that helps us to supply data and create a detailed report from the data. This article will examine the key differences between Power BI and SSRS.

Key Differences

The key differences between Power BI vs. SQL server reporting services are as follows:

#1 – User-Friendly

It is one of the key areas to look into. Power BI is such a user-friendly tool. We can create reports and insights with just drag and drop of fields. On the other hand, SSRS is not that simple to use because you need coding skills to play around with SSRS reports.

#2 – Data Handling

In the Power BI free Desktop version, we can handle up to 1 GB of data per user. In the paid version, we can handle up to 10 GB. If the data goes beyond this, we need to get the data from cloud-based tools like AZURE.

But SQL server reporting services can handle a large amount of data without any trouble, but you need to remember that this tool comes at a cost based on the organization structure.

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Comparative Table

ItemsPower BISSRS
Cost to AcquirePower BI is a free version for Desktop software. For Pro and Premium services, we need to pay to acquire.SSRS is completely a paid device.
HistoryPower BI is a recent product of Microsoft and launched in 2013.SSRS is a much older product, so available since 2004.
Customer BasePower BI is a SaaS tool so the customer can download the Desktop free version and work immediately, so it has a large customer base.SSRS is not as popular as Power BI, so the customer base is not strong enough.
Need of the HourNot many modern users rely on server-based visualization tools, so Power BI is the need of the hour to build dashboards.SSRS is a server-based tool that requires well-oiled programmers to function on this.
LicensingPower BI licensing requires only Pro and Premium services.SSRS multiple editions require the cost to get the licensing.
Real-Time UpdatesPower BI gets every month the latest updates in the new release of Microsoft.SSRS gets updates every few years.
Data TypePower BI can handle any type of data type.SSRS can handle only structured and semi-structured data types.
Data SourcesPower BI can fetch the data from anywhere unavailable with SSRS server-based tools.SSRS can fetch the data only from SQL Server, SQL Data Warehouse, and SQL Server Analysis Services.
Kind of UsagePower BI can be used by those who want to publish both cloud-based and server-based reports.SSRS can produce only server-based reports.
ConvenienceOne can utilize Power BI through Desktop, Server Based, Web-based, and mobile applications.One can access SSRS to the web and work area only.
Technology ToolPower BI is a modern technology tool, HTML 5 source, and cloud-based SaaS.SSRS is an old technology tool based on an enterprise visualization tool.
User-Friendly NaturePower BI can be used as a drag-and-drop tool to create visualizations thanks to its rich graphical visualization tools.SSRS is not so rich in terms of graphics and visuals but it has a very good drill-down feature.
ImplementationPower BI implementation is much easier when compared to SSRS.SSRS implementation is complex and requires many complex procedures to pass through.


The choice is very simple. If you are not a coder or from a technical background, it is very tough to digest SSRS coding language, so better choose the Power BI thanks to simple drag and drop options. Power BI can provide rich graphics and visualizations, so unless you are a programmer, your choice is always a Power BI.

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