Modern-day technologies rely on Power BI and MSBI ETL, which are extremely popular tools in Business Intelligence presently. This article explores the concepts of Power BI and MSBI. MSBI has capabilities known as ETL- (Extract/Transform/Load of MSBI ETL tool) of data whereby it can visualize and organize data that is multi-dimensional.

The Power BI suite is a tool used in Data Analytics and provides capabilities in data modeling, its preparation, its discovery, interactive and creative dashboard creation, and so on. Thus one cannot compare the two products. But the reporting tools for reporting in these two services can be compared. Hence we can study the data tools of SQL Server (SQL BI Reporting Service Server) and study only the desktop version of MSBI developer Power BI tool for a fair comparison.

  1. Definition
  2. Implementation
  3. Benefits
  4. License
  5. Learning Aspect
  6. User Experience
  7. Data

1) Definition

The SSRS, the meaning is SQL Server Reporting Service and is the SSRS full form data analysis tool for BI Services and produces the reports on data residing in the server. In 2004 it was introduced by Microsoft Corporation with other Data Analytics tools like SQL Server Analysis Service, also called SSAS, and the Data Integrating SQL Server Integration Service (SSIS) tools. Its reporting platform is extensible and comprehensive including in it a processing set of component that has a program and integrated interfaces which are used to deploy and design test reports. 

In 2017, Power BI was developed by Microsoft as Microsoft’s business intelligence tool used in data analysis and reporting across a wide variety of sources of data and defines the MSBI full form. Power BI enables on-the-go publishing and creation of reports by users for end-users who can use any browser to view these reports. It is user-friendly, has new Power BI versions, is simple, and a great skill for business analysts. It has many uses in the analysis of huge data sets, complex data sets, the structure processing of unshaped raw data, and data modeling.

2) Implementation

The implementation and deployment of the MSBI vs. Power BI systems are significantly different. Let’s study the services concerning their security and superiority. Note that all platforms are not equal and have advantages or disadvantages based on the platform choice, software used, the needs of the client, and services used.

MS Power BI software is cloud-based and hosted on the vendor-side servers while being accessible using a web browser. In contrast, the on-premises MSBI software is locally installed on the company’s own servers and computers. A failure in the hardware of MSBI tools does not cause loss of data in Power BI since it has a backup facility that is networked. Today, cloud services save enterprises server resources and costs by using remote servers and resources.

In Power BI, the utility pay feature’s structure permits the users to pay for the portion of services and resources on a use-and-pay basis. However, security concerns with cloud-based services are aplenty since the data is hosted on other people’s servers, and this leads to nightmares and fear on the security front.

3) Benefits

In comparison to Power BI, the MSBI’s SSRS has a better capacity for drill-down reports. But, Power BI scores with its data representations using visual experiences that are rich. MSBI, with its data-attention-to-details approach and feature-rich focus on certain factors, is far superior to Power BI’s approach. It is the capacity of data modeling and better data visualization that sets Power BI apart. The older SSRS versions now come with new versions like MSBI SSAS, MSBI SSRS, or MSBI SQL, which have enhanced self-service capacity to enhance visuals and are user-friendly.

4) License

MSBI’s free version is for 180-days, after which one gets charged a base-price of 931$. In contrast, Power BI’s free version is for 60-days, and one gets charged a base-price of 9.99$ after that. Other versions or add-on services in both get charged extra.

5) Learning Aspect

The graphical tool Power BI fulfills requirements using the drag-and-drop tool via hidden processes taking place internally. In comparison, the developer of an SSRS report has to understand MSBI architecture, use MSBI skills, design, encode and learn the internally occurring processes before being able to effectively use the tool suite. 

6) User Experience

Power BI in comparison to SSRS, has a far improved graphical and visual component. It also is user-friendly, efficient, and great for use in generating reports and data analysis. MSBI, on the other hand, is difficult software requiring an MSBI consultant to understand, implement, and involves a lot of effort in the generation of reports in data analysis or report generation.

7) Data

Power BI has the capacity to deal with both unstructured and structured data with a capacity limited to 33,000 data rows or 10MB of data.

SSRS has the capacity to deal with semi-structured and structured data while not placing stress on the resources of the data engine, thereby providing for the creation of far larger reports.


Hence, in conclusion, we note that the SSRS operational reporting tool is pixel and picture-perfect. The Power BI tool is designed as a tool for data analysis and permits operational reporting in the form of various kinds of visual representations. It also provides better insights into helping with a better understanding of business decisions. MSBI has ETL capabilities for Extract/Transform/Load via the MSBI ETL tool for data, whereby it can interact, visualize and organize data that has multiple dimensions in the BI of an enterprise.

The Power BI for Data Analytics provides capabilities in data modeling, its preparation, its discovery, interactive and creative dashboard creation, and so on. SSRS was popular and still is for its SQL business intelligence. Since Power BI made its entry across domains, users were free to choose the best performer in the SSRS vs. Power BI battle.

The choice should, however, be made based on user needs and is requirements driven both having their own advantages/ disadvantages. SSRS is a straightforward choice for on-premises reports having a large number of page reports. Whereas, if the business uses analytical reporting and interactive visual media, then Power BI should be an ideal choice. Power BI is also an ideal choice when the organization is already equipped with Software Assurance and/or the SQL Server Enterprise Edition.

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