Report Builder Connectivity Issues

Issue: Previewing a Report Builder report connected to Analysis Services works in Report Designer but it fails in Report Builder 3.0 with the following error:

An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host


Unable to read data from the transport connection: An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host.


Further, SQL Profiler reveals that an Anonymous connection is attempted to Analysis Services even though you use an embedded report data source (using a shared data source on the server will run the report on the server while with an embedded data source results the report runs on the client).

Resolution: Check if Report Builder is connected to a report server running in SharePoint mode by examining the status bar. If it is, click the Disconnect link. Report preview should now work.


Finding Source Column Names in PowerPivot

Question: How do I find the source column name in PowerPivot if I’ve renamed and moved columns around?

Answer: Assuming that the table doesn’t use a custom query to import data or it wasn’t derived from an Excel linked table or Windows Clipboard, you can use the table properties to find the source column name as follows:

  1. In the PowerPivot Window, click the table to select it.
  2. In the Design ribbon tab, click Table Properties.
  3. Make sure that the Column Names From radio button is set to Source.


VertiPaq Rebranded as xVelocity

Apparently, the name “VertiPaq” wasn’t catchy enough so Microsoft rebranded it as xVelocity (probably got tipped by Comcast). This is just a name change, no new features.


xVelocity: The SQL Server family of technologies that utilize in-memory columnar storage to achieve very high-performance in query processing.

1.   xVelocity for Business Intelligence
Introduced as VertiPaq in the SQL Server 2008 R2 release, this in-memory columnar storage technology is the analytical engine that powered PowerPivot in that release, and is now in both PowerPivot and SQL Server Analysis Services in Tabular mode for the SQL Server 2012 release. xVelocity for BI consists of:

  • xVelocity In-memory Analytics Engine in SSAS 2012 Tabular Mode (used for enterprise-grade, scalable BI)
  • xVelocity In-memory Analytics Engine (previously called Vertipaq) in PowerPivot (used for self-service and team-oriented BI scenarios), available in PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint Server


2.   xVelocity for Data Warehousing
Memory-optimized columnar (columnstore) index technology for use with SQL Server Data Warehouses. Data is stored in column-wise fashion that can be used to answer a query just like data in any other type of index. A columnstore index appears as an index on a table when examining catalog views or the Object Explorer in Management Studio. The query optimizer considers the columnstore index as a data source for accessing data just like it considers other indexes when creating a query plan.


In cases where the VertiPaq name appears in the product (VertiPaqpagingpolicy parameter, VertiPaq SE event, etc.), please continue to use VertiPaq, or xVelocity (VertiPaq) if necessary to avoid confusion.

BIDS Helper 1.6 Beta Released

Fellow MVPs have just released the latest public beta build of BIDS Helper, which should one of the first utilities you install after you install SQL Server on your machine. Besides fixes and updates, this release adds support for SQL Server 2012 and new features specific to Analysis Services Tabular.

This beta release is the first to support SQL Server 2012 (in addition to SQL Server 2005, 2008, and 2008 R2). Since it is marked as a beta release, we are looking for bug reports in the next few months as you use BIDS Helper on real projects. In addition to getting all existing BIDS Helperfunctionality working appropriately in SQL Server 2012 (SSDT), the following features are new.

  • Analysis Services Tabular
  • Smart Diff
  • Tabular Actions Editor
  • Tabular HideMemberIf
  • Tabular Pre-Build

Hiding SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Extensions in SharePoint

To continue my Report Server Settings in SQL Server 2012 SharePoint Integration Mode blog, here is another example of how to use the new PowerShell-based configuration mechanism to hide a rendering extension. In this case, the script finds an SSRS application called SQL Server SSRS (replace with the name of your SSRS application from SharePoint Central Admin) and hides the XML renderer so the XML export option doesn’t appear in the Actions drop-down.

$apps = Get-SPRSServiceApplication  | where {$ -like “SQL Server SSRS”}

Set-SPRSExtension -identity $apps -ExtensionType “Render” -name “XML” -ExtensionAttributes “<Visible>False</Visible>”

Can’t Activate Reporting Services Service in SharePoint

I upgraded SQL Server 2012 from RC0 to RTM today on a SharePoint application server which was configured for Reporting Services integration. The upgrade went with no errors but I got this error when requesting reports:

  • The requested service, ‘http://amatltapp02:32843/1dacf49a2f7a4a6daa8db5768539893f/ReportingWebService.svc’ could not be activated. See the server’s diagnostic trace logs for more information.
    • The requested service, ‘http://amatltapp02:32843/1dacf49a2f7a4a6daa8db5768539893f/ReportingWebService.svc’ could not be activated. See the server’s diagnostic trace logs for more information.

    And, when browsing directly the service:

    After some digging out, we solved the issue by changing the Enable 32-Bit Applications property of the IIS application pool for the SharePoint web application to False.


Server Error in ‘/1dacf49a2f7a4a6daa8db5768539893f’ Application.

The farm is unavailable.

Presenting at SQL Server Special Ops Tour Atlanta

I’ve been honored to be selected by Microsoft to present the Self-service BI using PowerPivot and Power View session for the SQL Server Special Ops Tour in Atlanta on Monday, March 5th.

Agenda Speaker
12:30pm – 1:30pm Registration Opens
1:30pm – 2:30pm SQL Server 2012 – The New World of Data
Dandy Weyn – FTE – Sr. Tech Prod Mgr
2:30pm – 3:15pm   Introduction to SQL Server 2012 AlwaysON – Availability Groups Geoff Hiten – MVP – Community
3:15pm – 3:30pm
Break – drinks and light snacks
3:30pm – 4:15pm Self-Service BI using PowerPivot and Power View
Teo Lachev – MVP – Community
4:15pm – 4:45pm Understanding Microsoft Training & Certifications for Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Bob Taylor – FTE – Principal PFE
4:45pm – 5:15pm In Summary
All speakers

Join us to celebrate SQL Server 2012!

Finding Reporting Services Service in SharePoint

SharePoint is a like an ocean – the further you go, the deeper it gets

Ancient proverb 

Scenario: Configure SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services on a multi-server SharePoint farm with the following topology:

WEB1 – Web front-end Server 1

WEB2 – Web front-end Server 2

APP1 – Application server 1 that hosts the Central Administration site

APP2 – Needs SSRS 2012

APP2 – Needs SSRS 2012

Issue: I couldn’t find the SQL Server Reporting Services Service Application option when I expanded the New button in Central Administration ð Manage Service Applications

Resolution: Although the SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services service and Reporting Services Add-in were installed on APP2 and APP3, the SQL Server Reporting Services service wasn’t registered at a farm level. As a result, I couldn’t find the SQL Server Reporting Services Service in Central Admin -> Manage Services on Server on none of the application servers. As it turned out, the SSRS service must be also registered on the application server hosting Central Administration (APP1 in my case) as Prash Shirolkar explains in his blog:

  1. Remote in to APP1.
  2. Install the Reporting Services add-in to get the SSRS PowerShell cmdlets. In my case, I installed only the add-in and not the Reporting Services service since I didn’t want it on APP1.
  3. Run the SharePoint 2010 PowerShell as admin and execute the three commands in the Install and Start the Reporting Services SharePoint Service in the Install Reporting Services SharePoint Mode as a Single Server Farm document:
    1. Install-SPRSService
    2. Install-SPRSServiceProxy
    3. get-spserviceinstance -all |where {$_.TypeName -like “SQL Server Reporting*”} | Start-SPServiceInstance

Interestingly, the first two commands don’t echo any output. The third command, however, should show you a message that the SSRS service has been provisioned. Now, you can go to Central Administration ð Manage Services on Server and you should be able to find the SQL Server Reporting Services Service. More importantly, you should be able to go to Central Administration ð Manage Service Applications, expand the New button and then click SQL Server Reporting Services Service Application to finalize the Reporting Services setup.

Possible alternative resolution path

Although I haven’t tried it because the client woudn’t allow farm configuration changes, another potential resolution path could be to temporarily switch the application server that hosts the Central Administration utility to one of the SSRS application server (APP2 or APP3) as explained in the blog post, “How to change Central Admin Host in SharePoint 2010” by Kirk Barrett. Then, you can register the SSSRS service on that server by executing the steps in item 3 above. Finally, switch back the Central Administration host server to the original server (APP1).