In my last post, I discussed the changes in Excel and PowerPivot as they pertain to SharePoint 2013 and SQL Server. This post will walk through the steps required to set up SQL Server Reporting Services in Integrated mode with SharePoint 2013. As was the case with the new Excel data model, you will need at least SQL Server 2012 SP1 to get this to work as I describe (it’s currently available here as CTP 3).
Fundamentally, there are no real differences with how this installs when compared to installing SSRS 2012 on a SharePoint 2010 farm in SharePoint mode, so if you’ve landed here looking for 2010 information, it should be valid, but the screens will look a little different.
To start with, it’s important to understand that SSRS will install as a SharePoint service application. This obviously means that it must be installed on a machine that is part of the the SharePoint farm. What this does NOT mean is that you should install SharePoint on your SQL server and join it to the farm (please DON’T do that!). In a single SharePoint front end environment it is much better to add SSRS to your SharePoint server than it is to add SharePoint to your SQL server. Obviously, if you have a separate SharePoint application server, that’s the best place for it.
To install, obtain the SQL Server 2012 SP1 (or greater) media and mount it on tyour SharePoint server. Run the installer, choose new install and follow the prompts. Eventually you will get to the feature section screen, and assuming that machine has no prior SQL on it will look something like the following when completed.
You’ll notice that everything selected is under the Shared Features section, which means that it is not installed as part of a SQL instance. In fact, you’ll notice that we don’t have the data engine installed at all. The two Reporting Services options shown are the only items that are actually required for SSRS Integrated mode to work. As you can see, I’ve also selected SQL Server Data Tools (formerly BIDS) and Management Tools as well. I like to install these tools as a matter of course on SharePoint servers, as they can come in handy for connectivity testing or quick BI project building.
Follow the remaining prompts until the installation is complete.
Another thing that you should note is that the order of operations is important here. If you install Reporting Services – SharePoint prior to installing SharePoint on the farm, the option to create a Reporting Services application will not appear. That’s because it won’t be registered with the farm as a service application. If this happens, you can run the following PowerShell to register the Service Application
Once registered, the service application can be created as below. If you install Reporting Service – SharePoint after the server has been joined to the farm, then the above steps are taken care of for you automatically.
The next thing that you need to do is to provision the service application. From Central Administration, navigate to Manage Service applications. Then, from the new menu, Select SQL Server Reporting Services Service Application.
Fill out the resulting form as appropriate, and select OK. Make sure that you navigate to the bottom of the form and select the applications to activate SSRS on.
Once the service application and proxy have been created, click on it to access the management screen.
You’ll want to access each of the sections and fill out the appropriate options for your installation. The instructions are fairly self-explanatory, so I won’t go into them here. At a minimum, you should back up your encryption key in the key management section, Set your unattended execution account (the default account to use when no credentials are available), and your email server settings if you want to be able to deliver reports via email. If you want to enable self service subscriptions and alerts, fill out that section, and it contains instructions for setting up the SQL agent service to support it.
The most important section is System Settings, which controls the bulk of how Reporting Services will run. Clicking on it accessed the service itself, and it’s the first place that you’ll see an error if you have configuration problems. In early builds, I have seen an error similar to the following:
The requested service, ‘http://localhost:xxxxx/SecurityTokenServiceApplication/securitytoken.svc/actas’ could not be activated
(xxxxx is a local port which varies from farm to farm)
This indicated a problem with the SecurityTokenService, which you can see by accessing IIS. After doing a little poking around, I tried to access the service directly in a browser via its base url:
I was then presented with an error indicating that the server was too low on memory. The solution? Allocate more RAM. It was running with 4 GB and only SharePoint installed, but it did have most of the service applications activated. The lesson – if you want all the services to work, give your server enough memory. Bumping it to 8 GB did it in my case.
If you can access your system settings, then you should be good to go. The next step is to enable SSRS in you site collections, and I plan on doing a post on that in the very near future. Stay tuned.
Update – July 26 2012 – If you’re interested in trying out SSRS on SharePoint, or PowerPivot for SharePoint, you can use a pre-built environment that’s been set up on Cloudshare. Click here to sign up and access the environment.