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Installing SQL Server Reporting Services is just the first step in building the foundation for a solid Reporting Services instance.  The second step in the process is configuring Reporting Services to conform to the particulars of your environment.  These configurations are made to the RSServer.config file via the Reporting Services Configuration Tool.  This tool is quite similar in concept and practice to the Surface Area Configuration Tool that is utilized to configure the SQL Server Database Services instance post-install. 

The Reporting Services Configuration Tool is very simple to use and once you know what each form affords, you can make quick work of configuring Reporting Services.  However, if not properly used, the tool may also facilitate a quick path to subsequent hours of frustration and frenzied troubleshooting.  The purpose of this tip is to help you with the heavy lifting when it comes to the Reporting Services Configuration Tool.  I’ll walk you step-by-step through the tool, explaining what each field is expecting, and what options exist within the tool to properly configure the various configuration files from within the structure of the Reporting Services Configuration tool. 

I do not know the subtleties of each of your domains, therefore there will be steps where you may need to do a little leg-work in collecting the necessary values in order to properly configure your environment.

Launching the configuration tool is quite simple.  The tool is installed as a component of SQL Server Reporting Services and is located under Microsoft SQL Server 2005Configuration ToolsReporting Services Configuration in the Start Menu.  When you initially launch the tool you’ll be prompted to connect to an instance of SQL Server Reporting Services.  Enter the values that are reflective of the environment you wish to configure and continue. 

The first form that is presented in the SQL Server Reporting Services Configuration Tool provides you with the basic information of the instance, and its status.  Along the left margin of the tool you’ll see an overview of each category that you’re able to configure (each category will have a separate form in the configuration tool).  The status for each category is displayed and the legend for these statuses are provided at the bottom of the tool. 

Left Pane of SQL Server Reporting Services Configuration Tool

As you proceed through each category, you’ll see the status pane on the left side of the Reporting Services Configuration tool change accordingly.  Let’s now move onto the right pane of the tool and proceed through each category in depth.

Server Status

This is the first screen you’ll encounter after logging into the tool.  This screen only allows you to view the instance you are connected to, and gives you control over the running status of the service.

Report Server Virtual Directory and Report Manager Virtual Directory

SQL Server Reporting Services’ Report Server and Report Manager are ASP.NET applications that are accessed via a URL composed in the following manner:  http://server/website/virtual_directory (https://server/website/virtual_directory if the server in question is configured for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).)  The server component can be a server name, fully-qualified domain name, or even localhost.  It all depends upon how you’re planning on accessing Reporting Services. 

If Reporting Services will be accessed from here…
Server Name component in URL will be:

Within your local network or Intranet
The Server (DNS) name

Remotely via the Internet
A fully-qualified domain name

Locally on the same server

The virtual directory is the only component of the URL that you’re able to configure within Reporting Services.  The default values are presented below.  Just as is the case with any defaults in SQL Server, if you’re concerned about security I strongly suggest you avoid using the default values.

You can also configure Reporting Services for SSL connections.  To do so, simply check the Require Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connections checkbox and enter the appropriate values into the drop-down supplied.

In addition to the virtual directory name, you are also able to assign the virtual directory to an existing website or a default website.  You are not able to create the website from with this tool.  If you do not wish to assign the virtual directory name to the default website you will need to configure a new website first via Internet Information Services (IIS) before proceeding.  You can use the same website for both Report Manager and Report Server. 

By default, anonymous access is disabled; the Reporting Services virtual directories are configured for intranet access only. In order to configure Reporting Services for Internet connections, you will need to modify the report server configuration files – specifically the RSWebApplication configuration file.  Configuration file modifications are outside the scope of this article, however.  For more information please review the detailed articles available from Microsoft TechNet that touch upon that subject:

Configuring Report Server Virtual Directories

How to: Configure Reporting Services to Use a Non-Default Web Site (Reporting Services Configuration)

Windows Service Identity

The Report Server Windows service runs under the account you appointed when installing SQL Server Reporting Services.  You can use this configuration tool scree