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Getting budget version of Reporting Services to work

December 17, 2006

I’m trying to brush up my development skills for a possible employment advancement. I needed some familiar dev tools on my home machine and need to get them on a budget (and legally). The “express” editions of Microsoft’s visual studio family fit the bill nicely.

One product I was really interesting in using was Reporting Services which is available with SQL Server 2005 Express. After installation, I encountered various connection and configuration problems that I will describe how to remedy in this post.

First, for some reason IIS 5.1 couldn’t authenticate me using Windows Authentication. Maybe it’s becasue I’m using Windows XP and not a real server. By turning off Anonymous access and enabling Basic Authentication got it to work.

I installed the Adventure Works database and the sample reports but when trying to connect to Report Manager to view the reports I was getting various connection errors.

A quick search suggested that the problem was that remote access was not enabled. I followed the steps outlined here but still no success, but a different error message.

The problem it turns out was that the AdventureWorks datasource had an incorrect connection string. For my set up this worked:

Data Source=.sqlexpress3;Initial Catalog=adventureworks;Integrated Security=True

Incidentally, Windows Authentication works when connecting to the database server.

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