In an outstanding move on Microsoft’s part, Developers have released an open-source project to help PHP developers integrate SQL Server Reporting Services from their PHP applications! Using this new toolkit programmers can begin doing that today!
This project offers a simple programming interface to:
- list available reports
- manage rendering of those reports
- and allow parameter passing from PHP based web forms
Here’s a quick graphic to show how this project works.
The Interface sits on top of Reporting Services and uses SOAP as the underlying communications method. PHP then manages the reports, credentials and output formats by calling Reporting Services to do the heavy lifting.
The report would still be built using Business Intelligence Development Studio, which comes with the Express version of SQL Server 2008, so open source developers would still have access without having to layout a lot of cash. But the developer copies of SQL Server 2008 can be found for as little as $50 at Amazon.
This is a big step for Microsoft, working with the open source community. Some may see this as a way to reduce competition in existing reporting services that have been built in PHP, I see it as an opportunity to merge my PHP web development skills with my Microsoft SQL Server skills. I see this as a great fit for both teams.
What do you think? Will this help or hurt PHP developers? Will it water down the Reporting Services on offer from independent PHP developers? Send your comments in below!