Dashboard for Microsoft SQL Server
shall see in the Preparation section of our installation
procedure, minimal (but important) system requirements must be met for
installing and using Performance Dashboard Reports. We will touch upon
these, and illuminate some of the unclear points in the rather sketchy
documentation that accompanies the report pack, in the steps of the
installation that we undertake below.
of a set of .rdl files, a setup script (.sql), and a help file, there are not
many decisions to be made or other showstopper considerations, beyond the
basic system requirements. One thing to think through is the location
where we wish to store the report and help files we have great flexibility
here, beyond the requirement that the .rdl files must reside in the same
directory. (As we have already noted, we are not required to have Reporting
Services running on the server involved.)
numerous recommendations, surrounding deployment and maintenance in the
provided help file (PerfDash.chm) that bear noting, not just for the
installation and use of the Performance Dashboard Reports, but for the
use of Custom Reports in general, among other items to place in a
growing best practices file. Examples include a suggestion that we create shares
to contain the enterprises Custom Reports. Moreover, the suggestion
is offered that we set up a subdirectory within the shared Custom
Reports directory to specifically house the Performance Dashboard
Reports files, so as to avoid name collisions with any other Custom
Reports that we may install later. (We perform our installation in a manner
that complies with these suggestions in the procedural section that follows).
Other pointers and information, such as tips for easily finding and accessing
the primary dashboard report, after first opening it as a Custom Report,
are included, as well, in Part II.
will perform our practice session from inside the MSSQL
Server Management Studio. For more exposure to the Management Studio
itself, and the myriad design, development and other evolutions we can perform
within this powerful interface, see other articles in this series, as well as
within my Database Journal series Introduction to MSSQL Server
Analysis Services. In this article, we will be commenting only on the
features relevant to our immediate practice exercise, to allow us to keep to
the focus of the article more efficiently.
Preparation: Download and Run the Installation
File for SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard Reports
The installation file for the Performance Dashboard Reports can be downloaded from the Microsoft
installation package (SQLServer2005_PerformanceDashboard.msi) from the Download
Center to a convenient location on the server / network, as shown in Illustration 1.
Illustration 1: Download
the Installation Package to a Convenient Location ...
Once the file
is downloaded, right click the file in Windows Explorer.
from the context menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 2.
Illustration 2: Installing
the Performance Dashboard Files
Click Run on
the Open File Security Warning dialog that appears next, as shown in Illustration 3.
Illustration 3: Running
the Installation ...
Click Next on
the Welcome page of the Install Wizard for Microsoft SQL Server 2005
Performance Dashboard Reports that next appears, as shown in Illustration
4: The Welcome Page of the Install Wizard
Read and agree
to the terms of the license agreement by clicking the top radio button, before
again clicking the Next button, as depicted in Illustration 5.
5: License Agreement Page of the Wizard
information requested in the Registration Information page that appears
at this point, and then click the Next button once again, as shown in Illustration
6: Complete the Registration Information
On the Feature
Selection page that appears next, click the Browse button to the right
of the default installation path, which appears below the selection list.
we mentioned earlier that it doesnt matter where we locate the report set, as
far as system requirements go (as long as we place them in the same
directory), we will follow a best practice outlined in some of the
documentation, where Microsoft suggests that we create a subdirectory
specifically for the dashboard files mainly, as we have noted earlier, to help
in the avoidance of name collisions with any other Custom Reports that we may install later. We are placing them
within the Custom Reports directory, as well, to support the
implementation of another suggested general practice: to create a share
which will contain all the enterprises Custom Reports.
(If you have a more convenient / preferable place to put them within the
context of your local environment, please do so in the following steps).
When the Change
Current Destination Folder dialog opens, navigate to the SQL Server
Management Studio folder (it is in a default path similar to the
following: C:\Documents and Settings\WEP3\My Documents\SQL Server
the Custom Reports folder that appears, as depicted in Illustration 7.
7: Navigating into the Custom Reports Folder
the Custom Reports folder, click the Create New Folder button to
the right of the selector labeled Look in, atop the Change Current
Destination Folder dialog, shown circled in Illustration 8.
8: Click the Create New Folder Button ...
following into the caption field of the newly created folder (currently titled New
Current Destination Folder dialog appears, with the newly created folder,
as depicted in Illustration 9.
9: The Change Current Destination Folder with New Destination Folder ...
to accept the newly assigned folder, and to dismiss the Change Current
Destination Folder dialog.
On the Feature
Selection page, to which we are once again returned, click the icon
(labeled Performance Dashboard, with the downward pointing arrow) to
reveal the selector list.
feature, and all subfeatures, will be installed on local hard drive, via
the right dropdown arrow, within the selection list of the page, as shown in Illustration
10: Feature Selection Setting ...
to save our input and continue.
arrive at the Ready to Install the Program page of the Setup Wizard.
to begin installation, as depicted in Illustration 11.
11: Ready to Install the Program Page ...
begins, and then the Completing the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Performance
Dashboards Setup page appears, as shown in Illustration 12.
12: Completing the Performance Dashboards Setup Page ...
Setup Wizard concludes and closes. The Performance Dashboard Reports set, along with the other files that we mentioned earlier, have been
placed in the subdirectory we have dictated, but a few steps remain to put the
report pack into action. We will take those steps from within MSSQL Server Management Studio in the section that follows.