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Category: Reporting Services

Overriding SSRS Authentication

Eitan Blumin doesn’t like the SSRS authentication prompt:

In this post, I hope to summarize the various methods that we have, in order to get rid of that annoying authentication prompt. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of complexity of implementation, versatility, and the level of security that it provides. More specifically: the more secure and versatile a method is – the more complicated it is to implement.

Read on for four such techniques, as well as a bonus technique.

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Lookup Functions in SSRS

Slava Murygin has made a mistake:

There is a lot of blog posts in the Internet about how to use Lookup and other functions of this type in SSRS.
It is very straight forward and easy to use.
However, I’ve managed to make a mistake and I assume have the same problem if you got to that page.

Read on to see the error as well as the wrong way and the right way to solve the problem.

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SQL Server Assessment Reports

Dave Bland shares the results of a lot of effort:

When you click the SQL Server 2012 or newer you will be taken to a report that will return a great deal of information that will be useful when doing an assessment.  This is very similar to the report you will be taken to if you click the 2008r2 or older button.  Since many of these data points are not options in an Azure SQL DB, that button will take you to the Report Library.

Below are the 21 data points that will be returned in just a few seconds.  A number of these will be helpful when doing an assessment for performance reasons.  The boxes will also change color to yellow or red if issues are found, just like the image above.

Click through for samples as well as the download link.

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Licensing for SQL Server Reporting Services

Denny Cherry explains licensing scenarios for SQL Server Reporting Services:

When you license SQL Server (of which the SQL Server Reporting Services engine is a part of) you license what is called the OSE or Operating System Environment. This is basically the OS that has SQL Server installed on it. Now, this can be the virtualization host (VMware or Hyper-V) or it can be the Windows Server (SSRS isn’t available on Linux, so we don’t have to deal with that, but if SSRS was available on Linux the rules would be the same as Windows). You can install SQL Server (or SSRS) as many times inside that OSE as you want to, but you can’t install SQL Server (or SSRS) on any other machines.

SSRS licensing isn’t too difficult to understand, relatively speaking.

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Analysis versus Reporting and Power BI

Rob Collie thinks about industry movement between analysis and reporting. Part one gives us some backstory:

Excel was about to make a large investment in BI-related capabilities, and the powers that be had selected me to lead our part in it. I was excited, but now I needed a crash course in “what the hell is BI?” I was given multiple tutors, and they all were quick to introduce the concept of Analysis versus Reporting. The “versus” seemed to be pretty important. It wasn’t an “and” – no, the “versus” was chosen deliberately in these sermons. You see, these were Two Very Different Things.

I struggled mightily to grasp this difference. I was told that interactive things like PivotTables were Analysis tools – NOT Reporting tools! Reports were something completely different. “But,” I pointed out, “they’re called ‘Insert PivotTable Report’ on the Excel menu today!” (This was Excel 2003). “Yeah,” said the mentors, “…we might want to fix that.”

Part two explains why analysis and reporting are both important:

Another “meta characteristic” of paginated reports is that they TEND to display details rather than aggregations. EX: specific transactions rather than emergent trends. In paginated reports, you’re MORE likely (but not guaranteed!) to be looking at “raw” rows of data from the original database, whereas in a Power BI report, you’re more likely (but again, not guaranteed!) to NOT be seeing raw individual rows, but rather intelligent aggregations of MANY rows. But either way, more detail means you’re more likely to need multiple pages.

Rob’s right on the money. And I’m looking forward to part three of the series.

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Switching Between Solution and Folders Views with SSRS Projects

Elizabeth Noble deals with a head-scratcher:


This past week, I made the goal of automating the deployment of our first SSRS report at work. I created the report and after adding the report to source control, my Object Explorer looked like the image below.

I added my solution to source control and synced the project up to Github. However, when my colleague tried to clone the repo and open the Report Project, they saw an image like the one below.

Click through for the images (which really tell the story) and how you can fix this problem.

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Tips for a Smooth Power BI Report Server Experience

Josh Crittenden has a few tips for people installing Power BI Report Server:

As is the case with any enterprise BI product, careful planning and consideration of how the technology will be leveraged should be made up-front. This will help avoid speed bumps during implementation and ensure a smooth ride as you roll out your BI and analytics solutions. Whether you’ve been working with PBIRS from day one, or are starting to use the platform for the first time, the goal of this post is to showcase tips and techniques that you can turn around and apply in your own environment.

Additionally, for those of you considering a hybrid Power BI implementation (Power BI service and Power BI Report Server), we will compare specific features of each platform below.  

Read on for the tips.

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Adding Time Zone-Adjusted Report Execution Times

Brett Powell shows how you can display a report’s execution time in a particular time zone:

For reports being viewed by users around the world, simply modifying the footer text box expression to note that this time is UTC may be a sufficient. However, for many paginated reports the users are all in one time zone and some of these users may ask to have the time zone conversion handled within the BI solution. The example in this post targets this scenario.

Even if the report serves users in multiple time zones, it’s technically feasible to leverage the UserID global field and a simple user to time zone mapping table to provide a local report execution time to all users. However, I tend to think most projects would not want to commit the time/resources for this logic – UTC date/time is what the users would get.

If you do need local report execution time, Brett has you covered.

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Upgrading SQL Server Reporting Services to 2017

Alexandre Hamel walks us through the new process for upgrading SQL Server Reporting Services:

In the past, we could run the SQL installer to do an in-place upgrade of SQL server including the SSRS instance to a newer version. As of 2017, SSRS is a separate install from SQL server, so this is no longer possible. In fact, if you do an in-place upgrade of SQL 2014 to 2017 for example, you will see a warning that SSRS will be uninstalled. Before proceeding with the SQL upgrade, follow these steps to upgrade the SSRS instance.

It’s not as easy as it was before, but Alexandre takes us through the step-by-step process and even includes some notes on how to roll back your upgrade attempt if necessary.

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Troubleshooting Chrome + Reporting Services Issues

Wayne Sheffield walks us through troubleshooting a few issues with using Reporting Services in Chrome:

I was recently working with a client with a SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) issue. Their company has standardized on using Google Chrome for the browser. However, they were running into issues when using Google Chrome with SSRS reports.

The first issue was that they were receiving a log in prompt to the SSRS server when browsing to it. The second issue was the infamous Kerberos Double-Hop issue. If you’re not familiar with the Kerberos Double-Hop architecture, check out this link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/archive/blogs/askds/understanding-kerberos-double-hop.

I still have bad memories of trying to get Mozilla and (much earlier) Chrome working with Reporting Services. Ugh.

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