Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Preparation for upgrading an SQL 2008 Reporting Services server in Integrated mode to 2008 R2

This is an information post really.

First up, install and run the upgrade advisor. Always a sensible step, they build these tools for a reason...

Mine cropped up a warning that seems to be fairly common, namely:
Upgrade Advisor detected one or more custom data processing extensions on the report server. Upgrade can continue, but you must move the data processing extension assemblies to the new installation folder.
A quick search revealed that this is due to having custom entries in the config sections of the Report Server setup. In my case I think this was just a red herring, but the necessary steps for resolution can be found here:

  1. Details relating to this warning
  2. Information on where to find the extensions (i.e. the deployment model for custom extensions)

Following these, I checked the web.config in the ReportServer folder and found the following:
<assemblyBinding xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1">
        <assemblyIdentity name="Microsoft.ReportingServices.Interfaces" publicKeyToken="89845dcd8080cc91" culture="neutral" />
        <bindingRedirect oldVersion="" newVersion="" />
        <bindingRedirect oldVersion="" newVersion="" />
        <assemblyIdentity name="Microsoft.ReportingServices.ProcessingCore" publicKeyToken="89845dcd8080cc91" culture="neutral" />
        <bindingRedirect oldVersion="" newVersion="" />
Based on my reading of the deployment model (second link above) this is what has caused the upgrade advisor to throw that warning. There's nothing there that was developed or deployed as a custom extension so I'm assuming it's just poor scripting not picking something up, after all, these look like pointers to later versions of existing core DLLs rather than anything that could be described as 'custom', presumably the result of a CU at some point...

In any case, from the documentation I know that what I need to do if things didn't go well is copy them across to the new installation folders and all should be well.

I will be running this upgrade within the next couple of days, so will post results after completion.

- rob

Friday, 16 December 2011

Hello, is this thing on?

So, I've been running a blog for quite a while now but it's become a bit muddled with non-work content, so here's an attempt at two things:
  1. A dedicated place to post work-relevant content
  2. A fresh start at blogging my work experiences
My role has expanded considerably since I began blogging. My current role is basically a good excuse for lots of different things to be thrown in my direction including the management of project teams, writing bids for additional funding (JISC, essentially) and driving improvement in working practice amongst colleagues both local to my 'unit' and aspirationally, working in concert with other interested co-workers (see Danny and Alex's blogs for some excellent writing on this) to attempt to do some genuine joined up thinking within our section that, with hard work and a little luck will traverse across the professional services at our HE institution.

We've had a new Registrar start recently and the key message I've drawn from the comments he's made so far are that for professional services to thrive it must at least attempt to lead, that is pro-actively improve service, offerings such that the academic community sees us not 'just' as underpinning the core activity of the University (i.e. the dissemination and cultivation of knowledge) but as a key contributor to the innovation that drives us forward as a business entity.

That means that besides the SharePoint focused technical posts I'll be making, there will also be a raft of non-technical posts regarding technical team organisation, management and leadership; development methods and strategies (mainly Agile and its co-existence with PRINCE2 and more traditional waterfall style project management approaches); organisational change management (my core project work involves lots of this as it's encouraging to give up paper-based work methods in favour of role/task interfaces and electronic records); vision and strategy within HE, specifically within a technical professional service section and a plethora of other things that catch my eye. Not much then, really.

So, that's my 'content' goal and I'll also be trying to post a couple of times a month at a minimum. I hope someone somewhere find some of it something other than useless.

- rob