Subscribing to IT Analytics Reports through SQL 2008 Reporting Services

By Rob Reyes at 6/16/2011 3:04 PM
Filed Under: ConfigMgr, IT Analytics, OpsMgr

With IT Analytics, not only is it easy for analysts and users to get the System Center data they want on demand, but using the subscription capabilities in SQL 2008 Reporting Services makes sharing System Center data even easier!

In this post, I will walk you thought the process for subscribing to IT Analytics reports.



To make sure the subscription process works smoothly, I want to check the following prerequisites.


Enable SQL Server Agent

Reporting Services uses SQL Server Agent to kick off a subscription and this service must be enabled.  I can check the SQL Server Agent settings in the Services window.  My SQL Server Agent should be set up up to run automatically as a startup service.


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SQL Server Reporting Services E-mail Settings


To send reports via email, I need to have the SQL Server Reporting Services E-mail Settings configured, specifically: Sender Address and SMTP server.


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Data Source Access

For Reporting Services subscriptions and scheduled reports to work, this service must know what account to run as.  To do that, you must specify this account within the Data Source definition.  This can be configured within the "Reporting" tab that is part of the IT Analytics Configuration Manager.

User Access

Next, I need to check my access to the Reporting Services instance.  If I, or any other users, are to subscribe to any IT Analytics reports, we must have the “Browser” assigned.


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Now that I have all the prerequisites in place, Subscriptions can be accessed from SQL Server Reporting Services Report Manager.  The Report Manager URL may be in the following format:



Here is a listing IT Analytics reports on my Report server.  Now that I found a report that I am interested in subscribing to, I click on the dropdown arrow next to the report name and select "Subscribe..."  This will bring up available subscription options.


Emailing a Report

Now, I have two delivery options to choose from: “E-mail” and “Windows File Share.”  Both options are listed in the "Delivered By" dropdown.  For this first example, I want this report sent via email.


I pick “E-Mail” in the “Delivered By” dropdown and a number of new options are listed.  In the screenshot below, I typed in my email address in the "To" field and added a comment.  If I click the "Schedule" button, I can specify how often this report should be sent to me.


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If there is a subset of data I am interested, then I can use the "Report Parameter Values" to refine the data that is included in my report.



Now that I have my subscription set the way I want it, I click "OK" to save the subscription.


When I visit the “My Subscriptions” page, I can review when all my subscribed reports were sent and status of that send.


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Below is an example of a report that was emailed to me:


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Windows File Share


Another requirement I have is to have a monthly snapshot of this reports.  I can use the "Windows File Share" subscription option to make this happen.


When I select "Windows File Share," I am presented with a number of options, including where to save the file, credentials to be used and the schedule.  Just like the email settings, I can edit the parameters to filter the data that will be saved to the file.


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I click "OK" to save the subscription and go to the specified drive to view the saved file.


With a few clicks, my users and I can get the latest Microsoft System Center data when I need it, further empowering me and enabling me to make informed decisions about my environment.


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Configuring a SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence Center for IT Analytics

By Rob Reyes at 6/8/2011 1:21 PM
Filed Under: Install/Config, IT Analytics, SSRS
In previous posts, Ryan shared how we can provide rich, interactive charts and graphs with SharePoint 2010 and IT Analytics cubes.  In this post, I will show you how to set up a new, basic instance of SharePoint 2010 Enterprise, along with installing and configuring a Business Intelligence Center site that uses PerformancePoint Servces to use with IT Analytics.
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You can find the SharePoint 2010 hardware and software requirements listed at the following link:
I am using a Hyper-V instance of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with SQL Server 2008 R2 installed with 3CPUs, 3Gb RAM and 40Gb of disk space.  Please note that PerformancePoint 2010 is licensed only with SharePoint 2010 Enterprise. 
SharePoint Installation
Once the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 installation dialog box appears, I recommend clicking on "Install software prerequisites" first.  The install is great and installing any updates, roles and settings to ensure the install goes smoothly.  After the software prerequisites installation completes, click on "Install Sharepoint Server."
After entering my SharePoint 2010 Enterprise license, you will be prompted to select Standalone or Server Farm.  Given the available functionality and flexibility, I will be installing a Server Farm.   When promoted for server type on the next page, I will select "Complete" so all components are installed and available.
That is the last step for installing SharePoint 2010 Server.  We will now launch in to configuring my SharePoint 2010 instance.
A few clicks in to the wizard, I am asked if I want to connect to an existing server farm or create a new server farm.  In this post, I'll create a new server farm. 
Next, I specify the server and credentials on the following page.
After setting credentials, I need to create a passphrase that I will use as I add more SharePoint servers to this farm.
The rest of the options, I will leave at default and click through until the configuration is complete.
Next, I must configure the server farm.  A browser comes up and gives me an option to go through a wizard or manually configure the server.  I'll use the wizard.  I'll leave all the services at their default settings and select "Use existing managed account," and click Next. 
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The next page is important.  This is where I will define my PerformancePoint "site" on SharePoint.  I'll give this site a title of "IT Analytics" and have the site run right off the root folder.
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I scroll down to define what sort of site this is.  There are a number of templates out of the box, but the one I am interested in, Business Intelligence Center, is located in the Enterprise tab.  The Business Intelligence Center is where I will use IT Analytics as my datasource for custom reports, dashboards, charts and tables.  I click OK and a processing window appears.  Once that completes, my farm configuration is complete.
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Two critical elements must also be configured:
1. The Secure Store and Unattended Service Account - This must be a shared domain account that will be used for accessing data sources we define within PerformancePoint.
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2. Secure Store Service - PerformancePoint uses this service to store the unattended service account password.  Additionally, the credential database is encrypted by a key.  This key must be created before defining any data sources in PerformancePoint.
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Now that my SharePoint Performance Point site is configured, I can now start creating custom dashboards, charts and tables using IT Analytics, and enabling my users do the same! 
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