[From Express Computer
We have been used to traditional report writers for many years now. In this era of thin client, multi-tier, object oriented, service based architecture, the good old report writers have remained more or less similar. For example, most of these provide header, footer, detail, and group based bands where you insert database or calculated fields to manage things.
The most common ones in use are Crystal and VB report writers. There are many other tools also available. With the advent of ActiveX controls, many third-party components have been available, which provide spreadsheet, graphics and ad-hoc report rendering capability. Microsoft has also released and enriched the set of tools called Office Web components, which include spreadsheet, Pivot Table and Chart controls.
Now finally Microsoft has introduced a very different and extremely powerful reporting engine called SQL Reporting Services.
The article continues at