“As a BI consultant specializing in SSRS, I have had lots of frustrations and hard times because of Excel. Every now and then, I have some or other business user coming up to me and asking for some feature which is there in Excel but not in SSRS. If you have been following my blog, you would already know that I am more of a work-around man, trying to find some alternative for features which are not supported out of the box. But when it comes to Excel related features, most of my attempts end in disappointment. So naturally, my ears perked up when I was asked to review a plugin which claimed to build SSRS reports using Excel and Word.
So I downloaded OfficeWriter v8 and spent close to a week playing around with it. Even though I encountered some minor quirks (v8.0 doesn’t run on the 64 bit version of Office 2010 yet – luckily I had a home pc with a 32 bit version of Office; got some minor issues when editing and deploying an existing SSRS report with shared data sources – got around it by setting the data sources once again from the report manager), overall I have been very pleased and of course, excited at the different prospects that this plugin opens up.”