I never used SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) before but used little Crystal Reports. My present project has extensive use of Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2005. This choice brought some nasty issues of Crystal Reports in front. The very first report failed to print or export because of a bug. After wasting a week, I got stuck in another issue of reducing font size on print and export.

Help in forums is also not coming soon. I want to know whether I should learn and switch to SSRS or migrate my project to Visual Studio 2010 with a higher version of Crystal Reports.

Has SSRS replaced Crystal Reports as a de facto standard reporting tool?

  • Over the past 10 years, companies have been playing Hot Potato with Crystal Reports...I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole. Commented Dec 19, 2011 at 18:29
  • I would like to point out that you can also create reports in VS that render in the ReportViewer control from local data sources (no SQL Server involved). You use the same report designer for this as you do for SSRS. So, I think that "SSRS" is a bit of a misnomer (or it misses out on a big part of the reporting infrastructure for VS and .NET). Commented Dec 20, 2011 at 1:37

3 Answers 3


Its hard to say for certain, because currently there is no business intelligence component to Visual Studio 2010, and there seems to be no plans to add one, so all reports for SSRS must be developed in Visual Studio 2008. However crystal reports can be made in Visual Studio 2010. SSRS does seem to be better than crystal reports though for the little I've used it.

  • This means I need to install Visual Studio 2008 to create reports using SSRS even if my project is in VS-2010?
    – RPK
    Commented Dec 19, 2011 at 18:09
  • 2
    @RPK you need SQL server business intelligence development studio to create SSRS reports which is part of visual studio 2008 only so yes you need 2008
    – Ryathal
    Commented Dec 19, 2011 at 18:21

Here's what I'm seeing based on viewing classified and my own job search process earlier this year.

Most companies with a long established .NET and/or VB6 code are sticking with Crystal for now. Unfortunately, they have too much invested in this or that weird report for various accounting managers, sales managers and such to make any big changes. Therefore, Crystal is one of the items on their "shopping list" when looking for new hires.

For new .NET development, SSRS is preferred by most companies. The difficulty they're having is finding developers sufficiently versed in it to do all the magical things those sales/accounting/marketing/whatever managers want. Sadly, many of them are unwilling to allow for even a brief getting up to speed phase to learn it.


It's going to depend on your environment, but there does seem to be a general shift away from Crystal and towards SSRS with the vendors we've talked with (and also other developers that I've talked to).

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