Justin Saraceno's Blog

Coding from the Carolinas

  • Migrating SSRS manager to a new IIS server

    We have a setup where I work where SSRS 2005 is running with the reports database on a database server and the report manager/reports are hosted on a separate IIS server.  This works out good because it avoids the need to run SQL Server on the IIS box.

    Now we’re upgrading to a new IIS web server and the move hasn’t been as straight-forward as I had hoped.  Since this isn’t a very common setup or scenario, I’ve been learning things the hard way during this move.  We are keeping the current IIS server up and running until the new web server gets tested.

    So I started out by installing the Report Server components on the new web server.  The install went fine until I started in to the Report Server Configuration Manager.  In the Config Manager you can set what database the report server should use.  I chose the current existing report server database on the separate SQL server.  It turns out, that was a mistake.

    I didn’t realize that because I was adding a second report manager/reports web site to be associated with the one reports database, SSRS assumed I was scaling out the report manager to a web farm.  That’s right, you can not have two instances of report manager/reports web site point to one single reports database unless you are scaling out your web operations.  It totally makes sense now that I know about it, but I don’t administer SSRS very often so I had no clue.

    Doing this not only set up SSRS scale-out settings on the new IIS box, but also modified the old IIS box’s SSRS settings to assume a scale-out deployment.  The result was all SSRS web interfaces were broken.  I proceeded by shutting down the SSRS service from the new IIS box so I could fix things on the older IIS box.

    On the older IIS box I had to get in to the Reporting Services Configuration Manager and navigate to the Initialization tab.  The tab showed it was trying to initialize SSRS on the local box and the new IIS box in order to scale out (which is not what I wanted to do).  I had to remove both items from the Initialization list, restart SSRS service, and things were working again the way they were before I started all this.

    So how am I going to get SSRS running on the new IIS box?  I see that I have two options.  One would be to shut down the SSRS service on the older IIS box and then reconfigure the new IIS box to use the existing reports database.  That will cause some down time that we can’t afford.  The other option is to create a new SSRS reports database on the database server and have the new IIS box utilize that.  It will be a little more work but seems to be the cleanest way to upgrade to a new IIS box for SSRS.

  • Linkbutton with image and text

    I ran across the need to have a linkbutton that contained an image and text. A little background... I was creating a file structure-like list in a repeater control.  Each row had to be clickable by the folder name or folder icon; just like in Windows Explorer.

  • Google's Chrome Browser: First Impressions

    First let me say WOW!  Chrome beta looks very promising.  I was first impressed before the browser's download was available by the Chrome comic book.  It provides a great developer-centric explination to why Chrome is fast, secure, and quite possibly the future model of all internet browsers.

  • ZoomIt

    A couple weeks back Brad Abrams came to speak to the Triangle .NET Users Group (TriNUG).  During his presentation he used and breifly mentioned ZoomIt, a utility for zooming in to sections of your screen.
    I downloaded it and I've got to say ZoomIt is great.  I think it was a 3rd party utility at one point but now it's a free Microsoft download.  If you've got a presentation in your future, it's a must have.

  • Help Wanted: ASP.NET Experience Not Considered

    One way to make sure you're current in your developer skills is to surf the job sites.  I'm very happy with my current position but I know I need to keep my skills current and marketable so every once in a while I surf the job boards and see what technologies are in hot demand.  If I'm unfamiliar with a skill or technology, I make an effort to get on it.

    Usually doing this results in no shockers but I just found a recent exception.  One local company is seeking a Principal Software Engineer with strong C# experience in .NET 1.1 and 2.0.  Then the ad goes on to state, "Please Note: ASP.NET experience not considered".  What?!?  How can this be?  An ASP.NET developer doesn't need to know .NET code?

  • ReorderList with ObjectDataSource

    If you ask me, the AJAX Control Toolkit's ReorderList is the most under appreciated control in the Toolkit.  Compared to many of the other controls, it gets no love.  The Toolkit demo site's sample for this control isn't really all that helpful and third party samples are sparse.  And how do you bind it with an ObjectDataSource control?  Read on to find out...

    The ReorderList had a 'real word' use for me.  There was a situation where I inherited a web form with a priority ranked list that was composed of a list of items that each had a textbox control to the left of them.  The textbox contained the priority order for the item in the list.  If the user wanted to change the order, he or she would change the numbers in the textboxes and then press a Save button which updated the priority order for the list.  Obviously, the users were having a difficult time making this work.

    In comes the ReorderList, the magical key to this situation.  But how does this work; the Toolkit sample site didn't go far enough.  I wanted to bind this with an ObjectDataSource control and it just wasn't working.  Well I eventually figured it out and the first thing I thought of was I needed to write an article about this.  Of course this was over 6 months ago but now that I have this blog I thought that someone may benefit from my pain.

  • VS 2008 Web Development Hotfix Roll-up

    Scott Guthrie posted about a VS 2008 Web Development Hotfix Roll-up that is available for download.
    I've been using Visual Studio 2008 for about a month and was pleased with its new features but disappointed with its performance.  At times I wondered if it was my computer but now it is clear: there were bugs in Visual Studio.  I’m glad Microsoft is actively knocking out these problems because I really like VS 2008.

  • Paint.NET

    In the past I haven't really done any of the graphics design for the web sites I work on.  That could be changing with my discovery of open source Paint.NET.
    At first I thought Paint.NET was just MS Paint on steroids.  I've discovered that it is far more advanced like Adobe Photoshop than MS Paint.