On a recent project we selected SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) as the reporting solution. During the investigation we also chose to use Sharepoint as a portal/repository for the reports as the client did not have a current portal/repository solution. I should mention that the version of Sharepoint we decided to use was Sharepoint 2010 foundation as it served our initial needs very well.
Although I have installed SQL Server many times, I only have experience using Sharepoint, not installing it. But I thought it would be good to get experience and to learn how to install and at configure a simple Sharepoint installation. I mean, how hard could it be?
The Google Experience
I figured the best place to start would be at the alter of Google. After making a sacrifice of my pride, I began looking for Sharepoint 2010 installation guide. Got one on my first search! After I downloaded it I was dismayed to see that it was over 600+ pages long. It can’t be this complicated to install a basic Sharepoint installation can it? Isn’t there a cheat sheet just to do a basic installation for use with SSRS?
The Amazon Experience
After being somewhat defeated by Google, I went to my second favourite source of information – Amazon. On Amazon, I found the WROX book – “Professional SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services“. After flipping through the table of contents, this book looked perfect. It even had a chapter on how to install SSRS and Sharepoint in integrated mode and how to create reports and maintain content through Sharepoint. I spent some time reading what I felt were the important chapters and then I planned out the installation. Seemed pretty straight forward. But still I had this feeling of impending doom.
The installation experience
The book provided quite a good guide for how to install SSRS. I had no issues at all. Alright, my confidence was building. I then started to install the Sharepoint integration. The guide for the initial installation of Sharepoint seemed straight forward. I followed the instructions and Sharepoint was successfully installed. The guide instructed you to not configure Sharepoint at the end of the installation since we will do that after we install additional SSRS features. Alright. Fair enough.
I then proceeded to install Service Pack 1 for Sharepoint 2010 as instructed. No issues. Alright! Gaining confidence. One step left.
The final step walked you through installing the additional Reporting Services features for Sharepoint. Once again I followed the guide and had no problems installing SSRS for Sharepoint. My installation was complete!
Or so I thought…
The frustrating experience #1
The next step required you to create a Reporting Services service application using Sharepoint Central Administration. Alright, fair enough.
Hold on, when I try to start the Sharepoint Central Administration it provides a message saying we need to configure Sharepoint. Remember in the process where we de-selected the option to configure Sharepoint and we were going to come back to it? Well, the book never came back to it. 😦 Thankfully I found a great reference in a blog for how to manually configure Sharepoint 2010. I followed the steps and Sharepoint was configured. You can find the link to that blog here: How to manually configure Sharepoint 2010.
The frustrating experience #2
OK. I was able to configure Sharepoint, but when I tried to create the Reporting Services service application, Sharepoint would not allow me to create a Report Services service application. It was not listed as one of the service applications I could create. Something was still missing. This problem was much harder to track down.
After searching and searching I came across a blog from Sharepoint MVP Liam Cleary. (Liam, send me your email if you read this post. I owe you a bottle of Single Malt scotch) In Liam’s post he clearly documented how you need to run two commands in the Sharepoint 2010 Management Shell to install the core services into the SharePoint Farm and to provision the service proxy.
Once that was done, I was able to create the Reporting Service service application and the installation was complete.
You can find Liam Cleary’s blog post here: I owe Liam Cleary a bottle of scotch
All in all, the installation of SSRS integrated with Sharepoint was simple once I located the two missing pieces of information. Thankfully there is a lot of information about SSRS and Sharepoint out there. Once I got the environment implemented, I couldn’t be happier. Easy to use and we are creating reports as well speak using Report Builder.
Good thing there was a village to help me configure my Sharepoint farm.