Johan Åhlén

Johan Åhlén's blog about life, universe and everything.

Installing Reporting Services on Windows 7, Vista or Windows Server 2008

I recently had to reinstall Reporting Services 2008, and had to remind myself how to set it up correctly. Installing Reporting Services on Vista, and later operating systems, can be tricky. I've seen several forum posts of people spending days on installation problems... The culprit is the new security features in Vista. I really think Microsoft should have added a README-file telling how to avoid these problems, especially since they must have known about them already when they released SQL Server 2008. This is a simple quick-guide with a step-by-step guide how to install SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 on a local machine running Vista or later operating systems.

Key Prerequisites

In order to use Reporting Services you need to:

  • Disable Internet Explorer protected mode
  • Make sure Internet Explorer provides Reporting Services with your current credentials
  • Add your account to Reporting Services server roles
  • When developing reports, run BIDS/Visual Studio as administrator

Protected mode is a security feature of Internet Explorer 7 and upwards, that uses new security features of Windows Vista to run in a "low integrity" security context. To enable Reporting Services, you can completely disable Protected mode (not recommended) or add Reporting Services to your trusted sites (recommended and described below).

Adding your account to the server roles is necessary if you do not want to run as administrator every time you start Internet Explorer.

BIDS/Visual Studio requires administrative privileges when communicating with Reporting Services. There seems to be no workaround, but running Visual Studio as administrator.

Below is a step-by-step description how to configure Reporting Services.

Disabling Internet Explorer protected mode for Report Manager

Right-click on Internet Explorer and choose Run as administrator:

In Internet Explorer, open the Internet Options and go to the Security tab. Select Trusted sites. Click on the Sites button:

Uncheck the Require server verification checkbox. Add http://localhost to the Websites list:

Close the options windows, but do not exit Internet Explorer.

Configuring Report Manager

Start Report Manager by going to http://localhost/reports. Click Properties. Click on New Role Assignment and add your account as Content Manager. Your account name should be in the form <computername>\<username> (for example Mini-laptop\Johan):

Also click on Site Settings, and then on Security. Add you account as System Administrator:

Trouble with these steps? Ensure that you are running Internet Explorer as administrator. Ensure that the necessary services are running - "SQL Server Reporting Services" and "SQL Server".

Windows 7

On Windows 7 it seems that Internet Explorer by default does not provide current user credentials to Reporting Services. What happens then is that you get a login prompt when you try to access Reporting Services. If you get a login prompt, you need to adjust security settings.

Choose Intenet Options and go to the Security tab. Click on Trusted sites. Either drag the security slider to low security or click on Custom level. If you click on Custom level, go to the User Authentication/Logon option and choose "Automatic logon with current name and password".

Developing Reports

Right click on SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio. Choose Run as administrator:

Running without administrative privileges will usually cause it to hang when contacting the Report Server. If you want to not have to choose Run as administrator every time, you can change properties on Visual Studio as shown below.



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