As I am keen to point out every opportunity I get, when installing SQL Server Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated mode, it is important to ensure that it is installed on a SharePoint server, and not on a SQL Server. It’s a bit counter-intuitive because the installation files are on the SQL Server media, and not the Sharepoint media. This causes confusion in a number of areas, but one question that I hear a lot is in the realm of licensing.
Technically, using any SQL Server component on any server requires a full SQL Server license for that component for each server. Running SQL Server Analysis Services and SQL Server Database on two different machines requires two different licenses. Seen that way, putting the SSRS Service on a SharePoint server would require a second license of SQL Server, which can be an expensive proposition. It also doesn’t make much sense, because it promotes bad design. Luckily, the SSRS service application is specifically exempted from additional licensing requirements. The following is taken directly from the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1 license document. Section 2.5 states:
2.5 Running Instances of the Additional Software.
You may run or otherwise use any number of instances of additional software listed below in physical or virtual operating system environments on any number of devices. You may use additional software only with the server software directly, or indirectly through other additional software.
- Business Intelligence Development Studio
- Client Tools Backward Compatibility
- Client Tools Connectivity
- Client Tools SDK
- Data Quality Client
- Data Quality Services
- Distributed Replay Client
- Distributed Replay Controller
- Management Tools – Basic
- Management Tools – Complete
- Reporting Services – SharePoint
- Reporting Services Add-in for SharePoint Products
- Master Data Services
- Sync Framework
- SQL Client Connectivity SDK
- SQL Server 2012 Books Online
Notice that little bullet point “Reporting Services – SharePoint”? That’s the service application. Put simply, this means that in order to use SSRS in SharePoint Integrated mode, you’ll need to have at least one licensed SQL server, but you don’t need to run it on the SQL machine. In fact, according to the line “any number of instances” you can run it on as many SharePoint servers as you wish to take advantage of load balancing without incurring any additional licensing cost for SQL Server.