Difference between SSRS and Power View (Power Bi)

In this I would like to go through some detailed comparisons between Reporting Services, and Power View. That I’ve chosen to focus on Power View rather than Power BI as a whole because Power View is the primary visualization component within Power BI.


Reporting Services Power View / Power BI
Primary purpose Traditional structured reporting (pre-defined queries and drill paths) Data discovery / interactive exploration
Architectural mode Native Mode


SharePoint Mode

Power View for Excel


Power BI Designer


Power View for SharePoint


Both Excel and Power BI Design can be used standalone or in conjunction with the Power BI portal (SaaS cloud app)

Installation components Native Mode: Report Manager with ReportServer

SharePoint Mode: SharePoint with ReportServer

Client: Visual Studio with SSDT or BIDS

And or

Report Builder (click-once app)

Power View for Excel (enabled in Excel)


Power BI Designer (standalone download)


Power View for SharePoint (part of SSRS in SharePoint)


Reporting Services Power View / Power BI
Parameterization Parameter pane Slicers (placed on the report body)


Filters pane (page level or for individual table/chart)




Color palette Standard color selections for individual charts


Can customize colors using custom color palettes, expressions, or custom code

Style selections applicable to entire report
Pixel-perfect formatting control Yes No
Switch chart types on the fly No (potential workaround with parameterization and show/hide properties) Yes
Interactive cross-filtering and highlighting behavior No Yes
Calculations and expressions Many options within the dataset, expressions, and custom code Straightforward options (Sum, Avg, Min, Max, Count)
Built-in maps Bubble map,

Filled map,

Line map,

Marker map,

Custom ESRI shapefile

Bubble map,

Filled map,

Uses Bing Maps API

Multiple data sources allowed per individual report / dashboard Yes (one data source per dataset is general rule, though a tablix expression can reference another dataset and/or lookups can be utilized) No (workaround is to integrate data first in underlying data model)
Shared datasets (i.e., reusable queries across multiple reports / dashboards) Yes (embedded dataset can be promoted to be a shared dataset) Yes (In V2, datasets published to the Power BI service are independent objects from reports and dashboards
Shared report elements (i.e., reusable charts and tables across multiple reports / dashboards) Yes (report parts which are elements such as tables, charts, gauges, images, maps, parameters, etc. published for reuse) Yes (Power BI v2 portal  supports the ability to ‘pin’ a report element onto one or more dashboards after the report has been published to the Power BI site)
KPI repository Indirectly (a KPI can be used from the underlying SSAS or Power Pivot data model, or an indicator can be defined inside of an individual report) Indirectly (a KPI can be referenced from the underlying SSAS or Power Pivot data model)
Drill-down (additional detail on the same report) Yes Yes (basic; affects single object on page only)
Drill-through (additional detail on a different report) To another report


To custom URL (incl to other reporting tools)

Custom URL (only on Dashboard tiles)
Alerts Yes (data-driven alerts in SharePoint mode only) Yes (simple high/low alerting on a single numeric tile – available in v2 mobile app only)
Subscriptions / automated report delivery Yes(E-mail, file share, SharePoint doc library, preload a cache) No
Snapshot reporting Yes (report execution snapshot to improve performance, or report history snapshot to store report as of a point in time) No (even a Power Point export from SharePoint retains a live connection so it’s not an ideal tool for a point-in-time snapshot)
Pinning of report elements No Yes (in Power BI v2 portal, an item on a report can be pinned to one or more dashboard pages)
Support for Analysis Services Multidimensional Yes (requires a flattened dataset with only two axes) Yes if data brought into embedded model first (i.e., not direct connect in Power BI V2). Live connectivity supported in Power View for SharePoint
Support for Analysis Services Tabular Yes Yes


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