Learning SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services — Save 50%
A step-by-step book and eBook to getting the most of Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services 2008
SQL 2008 server is the latest in the line of Microsoft database servers and this article by Dr. Jayaram Krishnaswamy discusses the challenges one may face in installing the Developer version of this product which was released in November 2007. On a virgin machine the software probably installs without a hitch but with a history of installs, especially of the earlier versions it is anything but a joy ride.
"It is almost always true for most of the software I have installed, not necessarily limited to Microsoft. However, most of Microsoft products need entry in the Window's registry and it is almost certain that one has to follow a certain protocol if one wishes to have a successful install. In fact the unsuccessful install flags out what went wrong while the initial steps do verify the requirements during installation. Despite this help and warnings one may face problems simply because it is not possible to foresee all possible combinations of hardware, software, user created error issues at launch time of the product. Again this article does not guarantee a successful install if one were to follow the steps delineated but gives you some guidance based on the author's experience."
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Initial State of Computer
Assuming you are working with the Windows XP OS, it will be advisable to create a restore point to which you can fall back should you fail to install and something goes wrong. You can set up a fall back position by going to Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Restore. This allows you to comeback where you were before starting the install. The other thing that you should lookup is the suite of Microsoft software you already have on your computer that may interfere with the product you are installing. This can be reviewed following Start | Control Panel | Add and Remove Programs.
SQL 2008 server requires IE 6.0 or higher version. It may be helpful to install this before embarking on installing the SQL 2008 Server. For the purpose of this article IE 7.0 was installed. It has appeared in some forum topics that SQL 2008 can exist side-by-side with SQL 2005 server. However in the present case SQL 2005 was completely removed. Sometimes even this removal is not quite an easy process if something is broken in the original install and requires you to reinstall and then uninstall. In the case of SQL Server 2008, there was an earlier version, "Katmai", installed but never used due to its inability to connect to the SQL Server Management Studio (Well, unless you remove the SQL 2005 client you cannot install SQL 2008 Client), a fact which came to light much later. 'Katmai' components were completely removed which required reinstalling the 'Katmai' followed by its complete removal.
When you download the SQL 2008 and run the executable, it creates the folder, servers, containing a number of subfolders and files (dynamic link library files etc) that are used during the installation. Help can be accessed from servershelp1033s10ch_setup, an HTML file which provides a wealth of information regarding all aspects of installation including migration from an earlier version. From servesdefault.htm you can begin the installation which provides the required support using Prepare | Install | Other information navigational aid.
After removing all the suggested components during this installation, the remaining Microsoft SQL Server related components on the computer are as shown in the Add and Remove Programs window in the next figure.
The very first screen you will see when you click on the serverssetup.exe file is the SQL Server 2008 Setup where you need to agree with the licensing terms before proceeding.
When you click on the Next button which displays the Installation Pre-requisites screen, you will be shown the pending items needed before you install SQL 2008 server. Click on the Install button after highlighting the pending item regarding setup support files in the right screen.
SQL Server Installation Center
This will take you to the SQL Server Installation Center screen as shown. It has a number of useful hyperlinks that you can come back to by repeating the above steps.
Click on New Installation link. This Starts Install SQL Server 2008 Wizard for System Configuration Check. After a while when the checking is completed the following screen will be displayed. This timeall items have the status marked 'Passed'. In a previous attempt when the 'Katmai' items were still uninstalled,the Previous CTP Install Check did not succeed and it was corrected only after completely removing those items.
Clicking on Next button takes you to screen where you need to select the features that you want to have installed as shown. The display shows Features Selection window after all items have been checked.
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Configuration of Server Instance
Clicking on the Next button takes you to the configuration of the SQL Server instance. The name of the instance is up to the user. Here, a name for the instance, HTEK2008, has been chosen. It also shows the root directory for this instance and the directories for the Analysis Services and the Reporting Services components.
Clicking on the Next button takes you to the Server Configuration window where you make choices as to the permissions. Here an Account and a password for this account were chosen and these were applied for all the services as shown in the next figure. For the SQL Server Agent the choice has to be made manually. These were typed in as shown in the figure that follows the next.
The Collation tab on this page shows the default collation for the instance. No changes were made to this screen. The Database Engine and the Analysis Services have different collation.
Clicking on the Next button takes you to the Database Engine Configuration's default tabbed page for security mode, and for providing the login information. Here Windows Authentication mode was chosen which disables the other controls on this page. An ASPNET user on this machine was also added using the Add button at the bottom of this page.
Clicking on the Next button takes you to the page wherein the Analysis Services administrator login needs to be specified. A windows account was created for the user before adding him to the Account provisioning on this page.
The tabbed page Data Directories shows the location of the directories for Data, Log, Backup etc as shown.
For the Reporting Services the default was accepted as a Sharepoint Server does not exist in this network.
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(For more resources on Microsoft, see here.)
Reporting Back to Microsoft
The following choices were made for error reporting and usage as it may help Microsoft to locate possible problems. Clicking on the Next button takes you to the Ready to Install page showing all the details regarding choices made during the installation.
Ready, Set, Go
Clicking on the Next button begins the installation progress as each item is installed. This may take a while before all items are installed. The final screen after all items are installed, is as shown in the next figure.
Clicking on the Next button takes you to final window as shown. There is no sample database with this installation but one can be downloaded from the link shown. There is a final installation log file saved to a directory on the machine for review.
The next screen shows the various programs running as windows services which you may access from the Control Panel.
The installation also leaves a shortcut on the desktop as shown which can be used to access the Management Studio and other utilities/tools.
The next window shows the various SQL 2008 Server related items that were added to the Add or Remove Programs window.
The sample database was downloaded from the site, http://www.codeplex.com/MSFTDBProdSamples/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=8392. An adventureWorksLT.exe was downloaded and executed. This starts theInstallShield wizard where you point the installer to the instance of the SQLServer 2008 as shown in the next figure.
This adds the Adventure works database to the SQL 2008 server as shown.
Installing 2008 can be easy or difficult depending on the previous installation history of the machine. Close attention to 'Read Me' documents is a must and can reduce frustration. The installation described was made on a Toshiba Laptop machine running a Windows XP Media Center edition software.
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About the Author :
Dr. Jayaram Krishnaswamy is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and writes on database and web development related topics to several computer programming related web sites. He is an active participant in several forums and discussion groups. Before working in the IT industry as a Microsoft Certified Trainer and a Siebel Certified consultant he taught at several institutes of technology and universities in India, Australia, Brazil and the USA. Links to his articles may be found at his website or the blog. He lives in Plainsboro, NJ, USA and may be reached at email@example.com