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Todd Klindt's home page > Todd Klindt's Office 365 Admin Blog > Posts > Installing SSRS 2012 without upgrading your database server
June 20
Installing SSRS 2012 without upgrading your database server

SQL 2012 RTMed last month (March 2012) with much fanfare. For us SharePoint types, SQL is a big deal, as SQL is the backbone of SharePoint. SQL 2012 has a few new or updated features that are of interest to SharePoint aficionados, but this blog post is specifically about SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). SSRS got a major overhaul in SQL 2012. It is finally a SharePoint service application. Anyone that has installed SSRS previous to SQL 2012 can appreciate how big of a deal that is. SSRS 2012 is better than SSRS 2008 R2 in a whole lot more ways, but as an IT Pro, the installation and management improvements take the cake.

But what if you already have SharePoint 2010 in place, and it’s running on a SQL 2008 R2 database backend? Do you get to enjoy all the gloriousness that is SSRS 2012 without upgrading your entire SQL instance to 2012? Of course you can, or else this would be a very, very short blog post. This blog post will walk you through installing the SQL 2012 version of SSRS even though all your databases are a SQL instance that is not 2012.

First, I must take a minute to thank Steve Caravajal. This blog post is all his idea. I overheard him telling someone else about this and I stole his idea. Shhhhh! Don’t tell him. He’s difficult enough to get along with without him getting a big head. Enough about Steve, let’s get back to SSRS.

The TLDR version is this; run the SQL 2012 installer on one of your SharePoint boxes. Only install the SSRS components. Then create an SSRS service app.

Here’s the longwinded version. First you need to acquire the SQL 2012 installation. You need the Standard, BI or Enterprise editions of SQL 2012 to use SSRS. Be careful with the Developer Edition, or evaluation edition. I had some issues with “Edition Mismatch” errors when I used them. It also wouldn’t hurt if you had a SharePoint 2010 farm handy, too. On your SharePoint server run the SQL 2012 installation. Instead of installing the database engine and all the other fun stuff, just install the Reporting Services bits and the SQL Server Management Studio, like this:


That’ll install all the fresh and funky new SSRS bits you want. After the installation is complete start up Central Admin and browse to the Manage Service Applications page. Click New and see what we’ve got there:


Go ahead, click it. It won’t bite. It will walk you through creating a shiny new SSRS service application. Whoopee! Let’s look at the screens:


Give the service app an appropriate name. Put your database server’s name in the server database blocks. This is the important part. That database server does NOT need to be SQL 2012. This TechNet article explains the database backed for SSRS 2012 can be any version of SQL from 2005 to 2012. You’ll also want to remove the evil GUID off of the default Database name.


Then choose the web apps you’ll be using SSRS with. You’ll see this screen:


And then this one:


Hurray! At this point you have SSRS installed, but you still need to configure it. I haven’t done much of that yet, so I’m not going to cover it in this blog post.

I do want to mention that not only do you get a UI for creating and configuring SSRS, you also get a batch of PowerShell cmdlets as well:


Here you can see running Get-SPRSServiceApplication returns back the service application I just created. You can configure SSRS with Central Admin, or if you want to show off, you could finish it up in PowerShell. Go ahead. I dare you.

Here’s another good link to help you get SSRS 2012 running.

I hope this blog post helps you start digging into SSRS 2012 sooner, rather than later.


Edited to add the Standard license


Nice Stuff - what about Analysis Services 2012 on SQL 2005-2008 R2?

Thanks for showing us how to get SSRS2012 installed on our Sharepoint 2012 Sites (so, being greedy)... How about Analysis Services 2012? Can it be installed on SQL 2005-2008 R2 as well?
 on 6/23/2012 3:58 PM

Access Services

SQL 2008 R2 Reporting Services was a prerequisite for Access Services. Can we now install Access Services and the SQL 2012 RS SSA instead? 
 on 6/23/2012 3:59 PM


Todd - I would assume one would need to purchase the 2012 licensing for this?  Or no?


Patrick Drews
 on 6/23/2012 4:00 PM

Re: Licensing??

Hi Patrick,
I'm sure Microsoft wants some cash for the privilege of using SSRS. I'm an idiot about licensing, but I think you need a SQL Standard license for it, but don't quote me on that.

Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 6/23/2012 4:01 PM

Re: Nice Stuff - what about Analysis Services 2012 on SQL 2005-2008 R2?

I'm not sure, I haven't tried yet. I plan on walking through this again and trying some new stuff. I'll post here if I find out one way or the other.

Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 6/23/2012 4:01 PM

Re: Access Services

I didn't know that SSRS was a prerequisite for Access Services. I would think the 2012 version would satisfy that, but I'm not sure.

Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 6/23/2012 4:02 PM

Microsoft Support

Thanks for this great post i tried it successfully.

But now i'm not sure if this constelation is supported by microsoft..
Todd do you know this?

 on 6/23/2012 4:03 PM

Re: Microsoft Support

Yup, fully supported. This link in the middle of the article mentions SSRS 2012 supports many database backends,

Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 6/23/2012 4:04 PM

Nice blog on an emerging topic!

Nice blog post on a topic of imminent interest, Todd. With SSRS improvements in SQL Server 2012, this post can help users get there from SSRS 2008 R2.

On Licensing - A SQL Server 2012 license would be required. Installing Reporting Services and the Database Engine on the same computer is useful if the benefits of running both components as a single licensed installation outweigh performance considerations. For more information about SQL Server licensing, see

As with any upgrade, consider having adequate backups of SharePoint and Reporting before proceeding. 

 on 6/23/2012 4:05 PM

All features supported if DBs on SQL Server 2008 R2?

We're moving SSRS to 2012 but or Sharepoint stays on 2008 R2. I got worried by this:
"Not all features are supported in all combinations of report server, Reporting Services add-in for SharePoint, and SharePoint Products. The recommended and most complete combination is to use SharePoint 2010 Products, the SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services add-in for SharePoint 2010 Products, and SQL Server 2012 report server in SharePoint Integrated mode."


Do I understand it wrong or does it say exactly the opposite as you do about feature support in case SharePoint is on 2008 R2?


 on 6/23/2012 4:06 PM
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