This month I am starting a series of articles on Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Service and how to implement it with Arvixe. Although many of the points made in these articles can be used with any hosting company, I am concentrating this discussion around Arvixe. I decided to take the time and start out at the beginning because I have seen several inquiries and confusion around the implementation process. Some of questions here, here, here or here or even here to name just a few.
I recognize that many of these inquires end up being OE (Operator Error) and not Arvixe. It is on this basis that I decided to write a pretty comprehensive series of articles specifically about the relationship between Arvixe and Reporting Services. I hope this helps anyone who decides to use Arvixe as their hosting provider while also implementing Reporting Services. Let’s get started……
For the purpose of this article we will use the topography that seems to be the most common at Arvixe. Typically when you order a standard account you will be given information that identifies what server your web sites will be hosted on. Since Arvixe host web sites on many different servers (virtual or other) and since this is specific to Arvixe let’s say that Arvixe says that your new account has been set up on TROUT. Remember, this is purely an example and not a literal server. They will give you something like…
Server/Hosting Name: trout.Arvixe.com (I like to fish)
This means that when you deploy, publish, ftp, etc. you will be use this server name. (In this case it is trout.Arvixe.com). From here you might decide to add-on Reporting Services to your account. To do this you need to contact Arvixe directly via phone or email and express the desire to “add-on” SSRS to your account. Once they have completed their setup they will provide you information that generally consists of 4-5 lines of information (Figure 2)
Looking at the figure below might help you understand how this works. Where ever they set it up, it normally has the same server location. (See Figure 1) This includes your Web Site, SQL Database, and SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services).
Secondly, they will provide you with 2 links to Report Server Manager, and 2 links to the actual Server. The only difference between them is when to use which one. Most of the time you will actually use the full domain (Yellow) to access your reports. I will show you why this is important in a minute. Also see that the path to your Report Server Manager has an ItemPath. The ItemPath is typically your user name on Arvixe. It is also normally the first part of the username. I have highlighted it (Figure 2) below in green.
Another important part of this is to look at where they actually install this. (The actual location-in blue) You will need this when trying to consume the report.
Let me wrap up this article by pointing out two things.
1. If you are going to write code in your web application to consume the report and since they are on the same server you would be better off using the ‘localhost’ the reason for this is that you will have less problems with security. This took me a long time to figure this out. Look at the chart below. (Figure 3)
2. If you use the fully qualified URL you will have to contend with passing the credentials through the entire process. This can get quite cumbersome and in some cases simply will not work. However; using the fully qualified url is necessary if you are testing locally and calling a report that is on the trout.arvixe.com server. (Figure 4)
3. Furthermore; if you use the right url for the right purpose your reports will have a chance to load quicker.
In Part two we will discuss how to make sure that Reporting Services is been installed and configured properly and that you can access it.
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