Appian vs. Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Appian
Score 8.5 out of 10
N/A
Appian is a low-code development and business process management platform. It features drag-and-drop design for app building, automated work processes, unified data management, and cloud-based deployment.
$0
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
Score 8.5 out of 10
N/A
Microsoft BI is a business intelligence product used for data analysis and generating reports on server-based data. It features unlimited data analysis capacity with its reporting engine, SQL Server Reporting Services alongside ETL, master data management, and data cleansing.
$9.99
per user/per month
Pricing
AppianMicrosoft BI (MSBI)
Editions & Modules
Appian Community Edition
$0
Application - Input-Only
$2
per month per user
Application - Infrequent
$9
per month per user
Application - Standard
$75
per month per user
Platform
Custom Quote Priced per user with unlimited apps.
minimum 100 users, no maximum
Unlimited
Custom Quote Priced per development with unlimited apps.
unlimited
Platform
Custom Quote Priced per user with unlimited apps.
Minimum 100, no maximum
Unlimited
Custom Quote Priced per development with unlimited apps.
Unlimited
Power BI Pro
$9.99
per user/per month
Power BI Premium
4,995
per month
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
AppianMicrosoft BI (MSBI)
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
YesYes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
AppianMicrosoft BI (MSBI)
Considered Both Products
Appian
Chose Appian
Appian is a robust framework more suitable for the "heavy lifting" complicated projects.
Microsoft BI (MSBI)

No answer on this topic

Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
AppianMicrosoft BI (MSBI)
Low-Code Development
Comparison of Low-Code Development features of Product A and Product B
Appian
9.1
75 Ratings
6% above category average
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
-
Ratings
Visual Modeling8.873 Ratings00 Ratings
Drag-and-drop Interfaces8.972 Ratings00 Ratings
Platform Security9.271 Ratings00 Ratings
Platform User Management8.872 Ratings00 Ratings
Reusability9.475 Ratings00 Ratings
Platform Scalability9.573 Ratings00 Ratings
BI Standard Reporting
Comparison of BI Standard Reporting features of Product A and Product B
Appian
-
Ratings
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.7
48 Ratings
7% above category average
Pixel Perfect reports00 Ratings9.041 Ratings
Customizable dashboards00 Ratings8.048 Ratings
Report Formatting Templates00 Ratings9.046 Ratings
Ad-hoc Reporting
Comparison of Ad-hoc Reporting features of Product A and Product B
Appian
-
Ratings
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.7
48 Ratings
8% above category average
Drill-down analysis00 Ratings9.043 Ratings
Formatting capabilities00 Ratings8.048 Ratings
Integration with R or other statistical packages00 Ratings9.038 Ratings
Report sharing and collaboration00 Ratings9.048 Ratings
Report Output and Scheduling
Comparison of Report Output and Scheduling features of Product A and Product B
Appian
-
Ratings
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
9.0
47 Ratings
8% above category average
Publish to Web00 Ratings9.043 Ratings
Publish to PDF00 Ratings9.043 Ratings
Report Versioning00 Ratings9.039 Ratings
Report Delivery Scheduling00 Ratings9.042 Ratings
Delivery to Remote Servers00 Ratings9.023 Ratings
Data Discovery and Visualization
Comparison of Data Discovery and Visualization features of Product A and Product B
Appian
-
Ratings
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
9.0
47 Ratings
11% above category average
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)00 Ratings9.046 Ratings
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization00 Ratings9.043 Ratings
Predictive Analytics00 Ratings9.041 Ratings
Pattern Recognition and Data Mining00 Ratings9.01 Ratings
Access Control and Security
Comparison of Access Control and Security features of Product A and Product B
Appian
-
Ratings
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
9.0
48 Ratings
5% above category average
Multi-User Support (named login)00 Ratings9.045 Ratings
Role-Based Security Model00 Ratings9.042 Ratings
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)00 Ratings9.045 Ratings
Report-Level Access Control00 Ratings9.01 Ratings
Single Sign-On (SSO)00 Ratings9.027 Ratings
Mobile Capabilities
Comparison of Mobile Capabilities features of Product A and Product B
Appian
-
Ratings
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.5
38 Ratings
6% above category average
Responsive Design for Web Access00 Ratings8.035 Ratings
Mobile Application00 Ratings8.026 Ratings
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile00 Ratings9.935 Ratings
Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding
Comparison of Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding features of Product A and Product B
Appian
-
Ratings
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.8
20 Ratings
11% above category average
REST API00 Ratings9.018 Ratings
Javascript API00 Ratings9.018 Ratings
iFrames00 Ratings9.017 Ratings
Java API00 Ratings9.016 Ratings
Themeable User Interface (UI)00 Ratings9.017 Ratings
Customizable Platform (Open Source)00 Ratings8.016 Ratings
Best Alternatives
AppianMicrosoft BI (MSBI)
Small Businesses
Creatio
Creatio
Score 9.2 out of 10
BrightGauge
BrightGauge
Score 9.0 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Quixy
Quixy
Score 9.9 out of 10
Reveal
Reveal
Score 9.9 out of 10
Enterprises
Creatio
Creatio
Score 9.2 out of 10
Jaspersoft Community Edition
Jaspersoft Community Edition
Score 9.7 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
AppianMicrosoft BI (MSBI)
Likelihood to Recommend
9.1
(139 ratings)
8.8
(72 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
8.5
(19 ratings)
8.0
(25 ratings)
Usability
8.7
(95 ratings)
8.9
(14 ratings)
Availability
-
(0 ratings)
9.5
(2 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
7.0
(2 ratings)
Support Rating
8.4
(118 ratings)
8.9
(15 ratings)
In-Person Training
9.0
(1 ratings)
6.9
(3 ratings)
Online Training
6.0
(2 ratings)
8.5
(2 ratings)
Implementation Rating
1.0
(5 ratings)
9.6
(7 ratings)
Configurability
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
User Testimonials
AppianMicrosoft BI (MSBI)
Likelihood to Recommend
Appian
Appian works great for automating manual processes and integrating multiple systems through its toolset. It gives great flexibility for establishing rules for approvals, routings, escalations, and the like. Because of the low code toolset, it's very easy to deploy and make changes as needed as processes evolve and as the organization learns to utilize the system better. Minimal maintenance is required to support the applications build on the platform. Some of the automated testing integration with tools like Jenkins is limited so that may be an issue for some.
Read full review
Microsoft
Microsoft BI is well suited for Stream analytics, easy data integration, report creation and UI/UX designs (limited but what all available are great ones) Microsoft BI may be less appropriate for handling huge number of datasets and difficult queries. It may also be difficult for a company with heavy data.
Read full review
Pros
Appian
  • Allows at a glance workflow documentation which assists in the need we have for information readiation.
  • Drag and drop interface for workflow development greatly speeds our apps time to market.
  • Using the advanced features of Appian, we are able to create working sites in a fraction of the time it would take to do so using "traditional" development.
Read full review
Microsoft
  • Comparatively easy to use compared to other data analytics solutions, collaborating with other colleagues on data work is simple.
  • Using Visual Studio for database, ETL, reporting, and analytics development save time and money.
  • Transfer of data from one application to another via Excel and comparison of data attributes between applications
  • Dashboard functionality, as well as Python support, are available, allowing you to add additional charts and graphs.
Read full review
Cons
Appian
  • Search issues when type ahead and database search are used in the same field.
  • Buttons implementation where user is require[d] to click on the button description - if clicks on the button outside that text - button will not work.
  • Problems with using certain off-the-shelf performance tools like WebLoad or Neoload. That is because of different dynamic variables being used internally in Appian - which these tools are unable to correlate. We are still investigating using other tools like Jmeter to overcome dynamic correlation problem for performance testing.
Read full review
Microsoft
  • The race to perfect gathering of Non-Traditional datasets is on-going; with Microsoft arguably not the leader of the pack in this category.
  • Licensing options for PowerBI visualizations may be a factor. I.e. if you need to implement B2C PowerBI visualizations, the cost is considerably high especially for startups.
  • Some clients are still resistant putting their data on the cloud, which restricts lots of functionality to Power BI.
Read full review
Likelihood to Renew
Appian
We recently renewed our license with Appian. We are convinced that its flexibility, relative ease of use, the support they provide, there mobile advancements and their general willingness and desire to see us succeed all contributed to our reason to renew our agreement with Appian
Read full review
Microsoft
Microsoft BI is fundamental to our suite of BI applications. That being said, Northcraft Analytics is focused on delighting our customers, so if the underlying factors of our decision change, we would choose to re-write our BI applications on a different stack. Luckily, mathematics are the fundamental IP of our technology... and is portable across all BI platforms for the foreseeable future.
Read full review
Usability
Appian
Appian is a low code environment, because of this, a very good visual interface is required. Appian is providing a feature-rich dashboard [that] we can use for building the dashboards and other interfaces. Appian also provides patches and releases to enhance these features. A developer can start off development just by going through a basic course from the Appian learning community.
Read full review
Microsoft
The Microsoft BI tools have great usability for both developers and end users alike. For developers familiar with Visual Studio, there is little learning curve. For those not, the single Visual Studio IDE means not having to learn separate tools for each component. For end-users, the web interface for SSRS is simple to navigate with intuitive controls. For ad-hoc analysis, Excel can connect directly to SSAS and provide a pivot table like experience which is familiar to many users. For database development, there is beginning to be some confusion, as there are now three tool choices (VS, SSMS, Azure Data Studio) for developers. I would like to see Azure Data Studio become the superset of SSMS and eventually supplant it.
Read full review
Reliability and Availability
Appian
No answers on this topic
Microsoft
The product has been reliable.
Read full review
Performance
Appian
No answers on this topic
Microsoft
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) can drag at times. We created two report servers and placed them under an F5 load balancer. This configuration has worked well. We have seen sluggish performance at times due to the Windows Firewall.
Read full review
Support Rating
Appian
Appian is one of the leading low code business automation platforms that support RPA, decision rules, case management, workflow automation, and machine learning all in a single bundle. But it is also harder to implement and replace the traditional business process.
Read full review
Microsoft
While support from Microsoft isn't necessarily always best of breed, you're also not paying the price for premium support that you would on other platforms. The strength of the stack is in the ecosystem that surrounds it. In contrast to other products, there are hundreds, even thousands of bloggers that post daily as well as vibrant user communities that surround the tool. I've had much better luck finding help with SQL Server related issues than I have with any other product, but that help doesn't always come directly from Microsoft.
Read full review
In-Person Training
Appian
As analyst I participated in a developer boot camp. At times it was hard to keep up but most of the time it made sense. Trainer took the time to explain and slowed pace down to answer questions etc.
Read full review
Microsoft
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.
Read full review
Online Training
Appian
Very boring; hard to get through quickly, but rather effective in demonstrating the use of the platform.
Read full review
Microsoft
I have used on-line training from Microsoft and from Pragmatic Works. I would recommend Pragmatic Works as the best way to get up to speed quickly, and then use the Microsoft on-line training to deep dive into specific features that you need to get depth with.
Read full review
Implementation Rating
Appian
It was really seamless. SaaS in the true definition of the word. We logged on and started using the product. Very easy.
Read full review
Microsoft
We are a consulting firm and as such our best resources are always billing on client projects. Our internal implementation has weaknesses, but that's true for any company like ours. My rating is based on the product's ease of implementation.
Read full review
Alternatives Considered
Appian
Appian has enormously transformed and keeps on updating the product every quarter to meet the latest needs of the world with new innovations & technologies being integrated within the platform. What gives more pleasure than a product that keeps on continuous[ly] improv[ing]?
Read full review
Microsoft
We have used the built in ConnectWise Manager reports and custom reports. The reports provide static data. PowerBI shows us live data we can drill down into and easily adjust parameters. It's much more useful than a static PDF report.
Read full review
Return on Investment
Appian
  • I believe it has negatively impacted our release dates. There may have been a misunderstanding as to the learning curve, even though it is "low code."
  • The look and feel of the applications created using Appian have uniformity and it's easier to have "reuse" between applications.
  • There is less developer control when it comes to features. I think this mainly has to do with the amount of plugins available. I would think there should be many more available plugins. But again, our use case is probably different than most others.
Read full review
Microsoft
  • As a SaaS provider we see being able to provide self-service BI to our client users as a competitive advantage. In fact the MSSQL enabled BI is a contributing factor to many winning RFPs we have done for prospective client organisations.
  • However MSSQL BI requires extensive knowledge and skills to design and develop data warehouses & data models as a foundation to support business analysts and users to interrogate data effectively and efficiently. Often times we find having strong in-house MSSQL expertise is a bless.
Read full review
ScreenShots

Appian Screenshots

Screenshot of Low-Code DevelopmentScreenshot of Business Process Management SuiteScreenshot of Dynamic Case ManagementScreenshot of Mobile App DevelopmentScreenshot of Appian RPA with Blue Prism