Patching SQL Server Reporting Services 2017 (Upgrade SSRS)

Patching SQL Server Reporting Services 2017 (Upgrade SSRS)

I was troubleshooting an issue in Dev with SQL Server Reporting Services. As part of the work, I decided to patch the environment to see if that might help. Patches often resolve issues, and give you a few new issues too – let’s call it “the bug exchange”.

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a separate Install from SQL Server 2017 onwards. This raises an interesting question – how do you patch SSRS? It would make no sense for SSRS issues to be resolved in SQL Server Cumulative Updates – there must be a separate set of SSRS Cumulative Updates.

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) was spun off from the regular SQL Server Installation from SQL Server 2016. It has a pretty mature life-cycle of it’s own, with regular updates described here:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/ssms/download-sql-server-management-studio-ssms?view=sql-server-2017

I thought “there must be a similar thing for SSRS”, but after running a few searches, I couldn’t find an equivalent download page. All that I could find was the following page that provides instructions on downloading SSRS.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/reporting-services/install-windows/install-reporting-services?view=sql-server-2017

There’s a section on this page for “Upgrade and Migrate Reporting Services”, but this is all about moving from an earlier version. I couldn’t find anything about patching.

Maybe SSRS doesn’t need Patching. Microsoft must have written it without bugs with the aim of keeping any new features for the next release of SQL Server. Yeah, right.

Checking the Microsoft Download page for SSRS, I was able to check the current Version number and release date. There’s no instructions for patching or upgrading SSRS though, just the basic details for how to perform the initial installation.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=55252

Searching further, I found the Change Log for SSRS, together with details of new features

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/reporting-services/change-log-sql-server-reporting-services?view=sql-server-2017

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/reporting-services/what-s-new-in-sql-server-reporting-services-ssrs?view=sql-server-2017

Using Reporting Server Configuration Manager, I checked the Version number of the existing installation. It was earlier than the current Version available for download from Microsoft.

When performing the initial Install of SSRS the following screen is displayed:

I downloaded the current Version, copied to the relevant test Server and ran the Setup nervously, not knowing exactly what would happen. To my joy, the opening screen contained the message “Upgrade Reporting Services”. A subtle difference from the initial install.

I know that SSRS has only just started out life on it’s own, but I had hoped that it might have benefited from the maturity of the SSMS product. Much as you would hope that a younger child would benefit from the parent’s experiences with their elder sibling. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at the moment withe the unloved SSRS but hopefully this blog post will help you in the meantime.

Did it fix the problem that I was experiencing with SSRS? No. That was something else. I fixed that one later and hope to write a post on that issue another day.

Nigel.



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