Problems Installing PowerPivot for SharePoint and Reporting Services From SQL Server 2012 SP2 on SharePoint 2013

I recently performed an installation of both PowerPivot and Reporting services for a customer that was running SharePoint 2013. In preparation for the installation, the customer had made the SQL media available to us (something that I always appreciate), so installation looked to be quick and easy. Since SP2 was released for SQL Server 2012 over a month ago (June 2014), they had downloaded the ISO file from MSDN that already included SP2.

I went ahead and installed the bits for both PowerPivot for SharePoint and for SQL Server Reporting Services. The next step in my case was to run the PowerPivot for SharePoint Configuration tool. There are normally two such tools available, the original one, for SharePoint 2010, and with the release of SQL Server 2012 SP1, there is the “PowerPivot for SharePoint 2013 Configuration Tool” which as the name might imply, is for configuring on SharePoint 2013. However, after this installation, there was only the one tool, which led me to believe that they had been consolidated. However running it resulted in the “Assembly not found” error that you get when installing on the wrong platform.

The next step in installing SSRS is normally to go and add the Service Application in Central Administration. However, it wasn’t available to add, and the typical PowerShell commands to register it (Install-SPRSService and Install-SPRSServiceProxy) resulted in not found errors. Something was clearly amiss.

After poking around a bit I was able to determine that the PowerPivot engine that was running was 11.0.2100.6, which corresponds to the RTM version of SQL Server 2012. (You can find a list of build numbers here) SharePoint Server 2013 requires at least SP1 for PowerPivot for SharePoint and for SSRS integrated mode. The problem had been identified, but what caused it?

After speaking with Todd Klindt (keeper of the SharePoint Patches log), it turns out that he had a similar experience with the SQL SP1 installation media. There is, or at least was a bug in the slipstream version of SQL Server 2012 SP1 that was available through Microsoft’s standard distribution channels. This bug caused only the RTM bits to get installed, not the patches. This has been documented in this Microsoft KB article. The bug was fixed, and the download media was updated within a few weeks. However, it appears that the same production glitch that caused the problem with SP1 happened again with the initial release of SP2, as documented in this blog post.

Happily, the problem has since been corrected, and any new downloads of SQL 2012 with SP2 should not be affected. However, if you have used an affected version, the fix is simple. All that is necessary is that you patch your install with the standalone SQLServer 2012 SP2 installer, available here. Ensure that you patch all elements, including your PowerPivot for SharePoint instance. You’ll know that you have the problem if you don’t see the PowerPivot for SharePoint 2013 configuration tool – there should be two as follows:

Perhaps the SQL team should talk to the SharePoint team about patching. Just sayin’…..

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