As more Macola users move from Crystal Reports toward Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), many are asking questions about Macola’s integration with SSRS and the benefits it brings.
Question: How does Macola 10 integrate with SSRS?
Answer: As of Macola 10.4, there are two components to the integration with SSRS:
- Some of the traditional Crystal Reports have been augmented or replaced by SSRS versions of the same report. Users will see buttons like this, indicating the option to run one or the other version of the report.
- The Macola 10 browser interface, also known as Synergy, provides the ability to expose one of the 40 standard Macola 10 Workspaces to users and to publish custom reports for users to view online.
Question: I know how to use SSRS. How does the Macola 10 integration work?
Answer: Just like the standard SSRS report manager, Macola 10 allows you to create and manage the folders, data sources and reports. These are then available both through the Macola 10 and standard SSRS interfaces.
Question: If the reports are available through standard SSRS, why should I manage them through Macola 10?
Answer: There are several benefits of managing SSRS reports through Macola 10:
- Single Interface: Managing reports through Macola 10 allows you to display them through the same interface where the user is interacting with the Macola system. For example, the user can view an inventory dashboard from the same menu where they launch their inventory transaction screen, rather than going outside the application to view the dashboard. This reduces clicks and increases efficiency.
- Launch Transaction Screens: Taking that one step further, managing the reports in Macola 10 allows users to take advantage of the built-in Workspace Menus. These menus allow users to click on the dashboard itself to launch a Macola screen, further increasing efficiency.
- Integrated Security: Managing reports within Macola 10 provides the ability to control report security using the same role-based security model already in use, rather than in SSRS’s separate security system.
- Widget-Based Dashboards: Rather than creating entire dashboards in SSRS, Macola 10’s interface allows easy creation dashboards based on small, quick-loading mini-reports, or widgets. If desired, the administrator can provide users with a list of pre-built widgets from which they can configure their own dashboards.