Getting started with the Technical Preview of Power BI reports in SQL Server Reporting Services

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Today’s post will help guide you through how to set up the January 2017 Technical Preview of Power BI reports in SQL Server Reporting Services on your own PC or server.  Make sure whatever machine you want to install the preview meets the same hardware requirements we had for SQL Server 2016.

Read Riccardo’s post announcing the Technical Preview

Download the January 2017 Technical Preview

Before you begin

One change you’ll notice with the new installer is that you do not need a SQL Server Database Engine server available at the time of install, and one is not installed for you as part of the wizard. You will need one to configure Reporting Services after installation, however, so make sure you have a SQL Server database available for this.  In addition, if you want to test the new Power BI report functionality, you need to connect to an external Analysis Services server, so you’ll need SQL Server Analysis Services installed and available for use as well.  Keep in mind the version of SQL Server Analysis Services needs to be SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU4 or later.

If you need a copy of SQL Server to try, you can get SQL Server 2016 Evaluation or try SQL Server vNext CTP1.1.

If you’d prefer to use a pre-configured environment instead of setting it up yourself, you can use the updated Virtual Machine in the Azure Marketplace.

If you need a sample Analysis Services model, you can use one of the following Adventure Works sample files to get started.  Select the sample that matches the mode you have SQL Server Analysis Services running in (Tabular or Multidimensional).

Set up your new report server

1. Find the location where you downloaded the SQLServerReportingServices.exe file and launch the installer.

2. Select Options to change the install path for Reporting Services.
Note: The default path is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services.

3. Read and agree to the license terms and conditions and then select Install.

4. After a successful setup, select Configure Report Server to launch the Reporting Services Configuration Manager.

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After you select Configure Report Server in the setup, you will be presented with Reporting Services Configuration Manager. For more information, see Reporting Services Configuration Manager.

You will now need to create a report server database in order to complete the initial configuration of Reporting Services. A SQL Server Database server is required to complete this step.  It is recommended for testing and development purposes you have this on the same machine as the one you install Reporting Services on.

Start creating reports with Power BI Desktop

As Riccardo discussed in yesterday’s post, you’ll need to use the preview version of Power BI Desktop we made available to publish content to the preview server you’ve set up.  You will see both a 32 and 64-bit version of Power BI Desktop available for download.  Unless you are using a 32-bit version of Windows on your local PC, the 64-bit version should be the one you install and use.  This can be installed locally on your PC, and will run side-by-side with the publicly released version of Power BI Desktop.  The workflow for creating and publishing reports to SSRS is almost identical to the one we first walked through when we released the Azure VM in October.  Please refer to the walkthrough we put together at that time if you have any questions –

MSDN Documentation now available

There are several articles on MSDN now available to discuss what’s new in this release and walk you through this and some other scenarios with the preview release.  You can access them using the links below –

Try it now and send us your feedback