I have an online tool that stores activity data in SQL Server on the backend. I want to give my users access to that data in a controlled way, so that they can mine the data and build any type of reports that they like. However, I am going to presume that the users have little to no technical capabilities and certainly don't know how to write SQL queries. I also don't want to force the users to install anything other than a browser.

I need a tool that is completely web-based, that can be used to visually create and design reports -- table-based, charts are not required -- based on a backend SQL database. Think of it as web-based Access or SSRS. Preferably, this would be an open source solution that uses Java.

I have looked at things like JasperReports, but that seems to assume that the user can build a SQL query. I want the users to be able to see a list of the tables available and then build their own reports visually.

Btw, if you were wondering, I am not going to give users direct access to the production tables, but instead copy and "flatten" the data into more of a warehouse on a daily basis and allow users to generate reports against the warehouse.

2 Answers 2


Check out QLR Manager

  • Relatively inexpensive when comparing with other applications

  • This application is completely web-based,

  • It works with well with MS SQL

  • Thanks. that seems really interesting!
    – user10532
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 4:51
  • 1
    @kendor you answer would be more descriptive & better if you can include the capabilities of the web-based application you have given :)
    – Heisenberg
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 5:07

There are to many to list, what you looking for is open source business intelligence and reporting tools. This open source technology platform uses to create data visualizations and reports that can be embedded into rich client and web applications.

All of these open source business intelligence and reporting tools provide a rich feature set ready for any size companies use. Important >> It will be up to the end user or administrator to do a thorough comparison and select either of these tools.(list below, some open source and some paid)


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    No. That is not correct. Those tools take the data that you give to them, but they don't let you write the queries in a visual format so that a non-programmer can get the data out. And for many/most, the way that you develop the queries to get out the data require an install, not just a browser. If you are thinking of something in particular that meets my requirements, please list one or two.
    – user10532
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 21:21
  • You looking for tool, those who want to build real time visualizations on the fly, with little technical expertise required? Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 21:50
  • Not exactly. My focus is more on return results in a table rather than a visualization. (see the original post.) Visualizations would be a bonus, however. I will have a series of tables available and the end user will be able to only use their browsers to define the reports to pull out the data they need.
    – user10532
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 21:53
  • Several of these BI tools require an intermediate layer of logical 'objects' (the aptly named Business Object comes to mind) to be defined by a 'designer' with intimate knowledge of the database. The end user will only query the logical objects, so those programs will not match the OP's criteria.
    – user416
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 9:45

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