Black Belt Administration: Reporting Services Configuration Manager
June 18, 2007
About the Series ...
This article is a member of the series MSSQL Server Reporting Services. The series is designed to introduce MSSQL Server Reporting Services (Reporting Services), presenting an overview of its features, with tips and techniques for real-world use. For more information on the series in general, please see my initial Database Journal article, A New Paradigm for Enterprise Reporting. For the software components, samples and tools needed to complete the hands-on portion of this article, see BlackBelt Administration: Linked Reports in Report Manager, another article within this series.
A common attribute of enterprise reporting systems is their provision for single points of maintenance for significant aspects of system configuration. Reporting Services meets the general need for centralized maintenance of reports and their constituent components by housing them within a central report catalog, facilitating easier report access and management. Reporting Services provides multiple management options to administrators.
While many management tasks are most conveniently handled via the Report Manager Web interface, Reporting Services provides several specialized utilities to complement this primary application. One of these tools, the Reporting Services Configuration Manager, provides a central point of Report Server configuration and ongoing management. In this article, we will examine how we can use the Reporting Services Configuration Manager to configure a report server deployment. The tool allows us to manage related services, and to specify directories, identities, and database connections, among other details. We will examine each of these capabilities in the practice session that follows.
The Reporting Services Configuration Manager
The Reporting Services Configuration Manager provides access to tabs that allow us to work with and / or monitor the following settings for our report servers:
As we shall see, we not only access the various settings via these tabs, but we can also see statuses for each at a quick glance. We will examine the details of each settings group in the procedural steps that follow.
Overview the Settings Tabs within the Reporting Services Configuration Manager
Let's open the Reporting Services Configuration Manager, to take a look at the pages involved.
1. Select Start -> Programs -> Microsoft SQL Server 2005 -> Configuration Tools -> Reporting Services Configuration, as shown in Illustration 1.
The Report Server Installation Instance Selection dialog appears.
2. Provide / select the appropriate Machine Name and Instance Name for your environment. The settings from one of my lab servers appear as depicted in Illustration 2.
3. Click Connect to open the Reporting Services Configuration Manager for the specified machine and instance.
The Reporting Services Configuration Manager opens for the designated server. On the top page, we see the Report Server Status section, which sits atop the Legend. The Legend contains each of the icons that can be displayed within the various tabs of the Configuration Manager in the left pane. The Legend defines the various states that the icons show, to make us aware, at a glance, of whether the settings contained within the tab are configured or not configured, and whether the respective settings are optional or recommended, or are simply not supported within the current mode. The Legend appears as shown in Illustration 3.
NOTE: Per the documentation, it is possible to configure settings that are not valid. We should always test our local Reporting Services installation(s) to verify that they work as expected. Visual indicators for configuration status, such as those displayed by the Reporting Services Configuration Manager, are not a substitute for tests that verify a successful deployment. (For more information about how to verify a deployment, see the Books Online topic How to: Verify a Reporting Services Installation.)
Because the Reporting Services Configuration Manager can be used to configure a local or remote report server instance, you must have local system administrator permissions on the computer that hosts the report server you want to configure. You must have permission to create databases on the SQL Server Database Engine used to host the report server database.
Let's examine each of the tabs in turn to get a detailed understanding of the settings they support. We will begin with the current starter page, Report Server Status.
Settings Page: Server Status
The default page, Report Server Status, serves as a point where we can start or stop the Report Server Windows service. Several Instance Properties are presented here, including:
When we start or stop the service (the extent of possible activities for this page), a Task Status section appears in the place of the Legend (shown in Illustration 3 above). The Report Server Status page, with Task Status section in place for a recent service start, appears as depicted in Illustration 4.
We can navigate to the remaining tabs by clicking each in the left pane of the Reporting Services Configuration Manager application, as shown in Illustration 5.
4. Click the related tab entry within the left pane for each of the following to follow along in our discussion.
Settings Page: Report Server Virtual Directory
The Report Server Virtual Directory page supports our specification of a virtual directory for the report server. By clicking on this tab, we can see the virtual directory within which the ASP.NET web service for our installation is set to run. In addition to modifying our choice of virtual directory, we can also specify SSL settings (including certificate identification, etc.) on this page.
An example of the Report Server Virtual Directory page is depicted in Illustration 6.
Settings Page: Report Manager Virtual Directory
We can examine (as well as modify) the virtual directory within which the Reporting Services Manager lives using the Report Manager Virtual Directory page. An example of the Report Manager Virtual Directory page is shown in Illustration 7.
Settings Page: Windows Service Identity
The Windows Service Identity page supports our specification of the service account under which the Reporting Services Windows Service runs. Here we can modify the settings that were established with the initial installation. (This represents a marked improvement over the previous version).
An example of the Windows Service Identity page is depicted in Illustration 8.