Reporting Services Part I: Overview, Architecture and Installation

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  • Hi there

    Great overview.

    Some items to add to the list that I have come accross:

    a)  SQL Authentication for report server db - on install, it will attempt to connect to the database via the windows account you have logged onto the server with, it uses this to verify if the DB exists and the user account is setup (and do the build if not there).  This is typically via builtin\administrators group. Be aware of this if you get the classic windows login error re trusted connections.

    b)  Anonymous ReportServer report access - as a simple approach, I replicated the /reportserver virtual directory (must copy the properties identically) and enabled anonymous logins - both virtual dirs point to the same binaries of course.  I created a /private and /public root folders within reportserver and the anonymous account having /public access only.  Be carefully playing with your primary /reportserver virtual dir in relation to /reports (reportmanger), especially IIS security settings and domain/realm properties.

    c) Web farms - I had a senario where I wanted two webservers sharing the same reporting services repository but they are NOT in a webfarm.  On install to the second server, it "assumes" you do want a webfarm, and are asked for the details.  To get around this, I let it create a new reportserver repository, then used rsconfig to point back to the shared repository thereafter. 

    d)  SQL client net utility alias - when asked for the sql server to connect to, I recommend you use sql client net utility and create an alias instread to quickly point RS to another repository (as need be of course)



    Chris Kempster
    Author of "SQL Server Backup, Recovery & Troubleshooting"
    Author of "SQL Server 2k for the Oracle DBA"

  • Thanks for the feedback Chris!

    I agree with the login stuff -- it's very confusing when presented on install -- what's logging on to what?  I'd like to so MS clean the install up a bit on the next version.  It's a deceptively complicated architecture -- I hope I brought that out a bit in this first article.

    The web farm stuff is very misleading.  I've got more on that coming.  I wanted to approach this from a crawl-before-limp-before-walk-before-run kind of thing

  • Thanks for your part 1 article. I wish it had been published 4 weeks ago as it took me several hours to get to the stage of being ready to try out the Report Designer (using a real database of ours in a dev VM)! I think I really need to see Part2 - when is it due to be published?



  • Well done James.  I glad to see someone has taken the time to do this.  We just installed SSRS into our test lab this week.  I have played with it on and off and I really like this product.  I do have a concern though.  The first one is printing.  I have already posted my concerns in the Reporting Services discussion forum.  Check it out.

    I also believe another discussion I have seen is configuration management.  What are the best practices for SSRS.

    Keep up the good work.  I nice to have tons if info to go by, especially for a new product.


  • My initial impressions of this addition to the SQL Server family are very positive.  This was a great introduction article and like some others have said it would have been very useful for me to have prior to installing RS ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to more articles on the subject.

    One very big drawback for my company and our use of RS is the lack of a calendar control or date picker for use when supplying parameters to reports.  MS said that this type of control might be included in the next release of the product.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    Does anyone have any good suggestion in terms of allowing end users to supply dates as parameters to reports?  Right now we use a couple of drop down boxes that they can select dates from but this is not as easy to use as a calendar control.

  • Thanks for the feedback everyone.  I have two articles coming soon on deport development, with more to follow.  As with this one, it won't simply follow the training or the BOL, but hit upon some of the more crucial and "what the..." elements.

  • Hi great article indeed

    But i'm still fighting against that last error.

    I've deleted all files I guess d:\program files\sql\reporting services and their responding databases. But I still receive the error by the end of the install.

    I just can't wait to get it fixed becoz i just think it's a great product and just the one i need.


    Kind regards



  • Grrr!  Don't you just hate that error?  And then you have to wait for EVERYTHING (almost) to roll back.

    The service (on my test box at least) is referenced at "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Reporting Services\ReportServer\bin\ReportingServicesService.exe". THe file version for the exe is 8.0.743.0, the Assembly Version is

    A couple things to try.  First, I'd try reinstalling the beta, uninstalling it, deleting that silly directory, the databases and the virtual directories in IIS, and THEN reinstalling the developer edition.

    You may want to try removing the service altogether from the registry (I would advise not).  Or try to use the .NET Configuration Assistant in Administrative tools to repair the ReportingServices exe.  Again, make sure these last two are tried on test box -- there could be unpredictable results.

    I haven't tracked down exactly what causes this, so if anyone else has, please add.


  • Hi,

    The article is very helpbut but but I am getting an error during the install of evaluation version of Reporting services on win 2000 server.

    It goes thru the setup and towards the end i get an erorr  "WMI Registration error -2147023836"

    Any ideas..







  • Hi,

    Liked the article, as it is very close to real situations and will definitely help new users.

    One thing I would like to bring in your attention is about Email Subscription for MAPI, you said, BYE BYE MAPI , than what gonna happen for those enterprises using MAPI based email systems like Lotus Notes? Therefore, could you please shed some light in your later articles on this hot issue (at least for me) and its possible solution(s)?

    Good work! Keep it up!

  • All email communication from RS is done via SMTP. For email systems that are MAPI-based, they should have some SMTP gateway to send to directly (I'm fairly sure Notes has one).

    If there isn't, a possible workaround would be to use the SMTP service on an IIS box send emails from RS directly to it.  I highly recommend avoiding this -- SMTP services are a high-profile hacking target.  If you have to use it, make sure it is behind your company firewall and not exposed to the Internet.

    You should be hard-pressed to find an email system that doesn't have some means of accepting emails via SMTP.  It may require an add-on or additional configuration, but all of the should have *some* method of doing so.

    Thanks for the feedback, good question!

  • In your article you stated that someone will come up with a way to convert Crystal Reports into the Microsoft format.  Someone already has, (a consulting company) but they were immediately sued by Business Objects (who owns Crystal Reports).  From what I am told the conversion program was in the wild (on the net) for a few days prior to being pulled, so it might be findable, but Crystal is being VERY proprietary in protecting Crystal Reports, so donโ€™t expect to see much in the way of conversion technology.

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