SQL 2008 - Setting Up SSRS Externally

Roxanne25
Roxanne25 used Ask the Experts™
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Hello!  I am trying to get my company to start using SSRS for reporting but I realized something today that I have never tried to use SSRS outside the local LAN before.  Our application is external facing on the internet and if I implemented SSRS, I would need to be able to access the Report Manager via an external URL.  

It is setup and configured currently, but I can only use it locally on the company domain.  I tried searching the web for how to configure this and what best practice is but I didn't really get anywhere.

I imagine it would not be good to set it up on the same server that the database is hosted on?  Has anyone done this before?  I have setup one application that was inherently not meant to be external before to be external and it was a pain in the ass. :D  Course, that application had to be proxied through Tomcat to IIS.

Anyhoo... any pointers or web references on how to do this?  This would be done in SQL 2008.

Thanks!
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Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
Is VPN between the ssrs and the sql server an option?

Are you looking to provide users who authenticate access to view reports while using internal references to create them?

Author

Commented:
No, people who use our application will not be on VPN.  Our application is external on the internet.

I think the answer to your question is yes... I just want the report server available both locally and externally.  So users can view SSRS reports from our website.
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
You can publish reports to externally accessed site.
You should make sure to secure access including user logins.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms159106(v=sql.105).aspx

The VPN question related to my impression that the SSRS being external to your network where your sql server is.

Look for ssrs report publishing. Are you using share poin? What eternal setup do you have I.e. a web server that can be setup to serve up published reports?
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Author

Commented:
No, we don't have sharepoint.  Our application is a home grown system built in Cold Fusion.

No, SSRS is setup and installed on the same server as our SQL Server DB.  This is a separate server from our application web server.
Alpesh PatelSolution Architect at TCS (SAFe®Agilist, TOGAF® Foundation, PSM I®, MCP, MCSD)

Commented:
You can create interface to give access of SSRS report to no-Doamin users.

Author

Commented:
How?
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:

Author

Commented:
Ok, so I guess the answer to my question is that it can't be done?  What I had wanted to do was make http://localhost:8080/reports  an actual internet site that people could navigate to outside the local LAN.  I was hoping I could do this and just be able to use the built in Report Manager and not have to write code to just gain access to a specific report.  And it would have to use SSL.
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
You could port forward requests to port 8080.
Make sure to remove anonymous access from the virtual reports directory properties.

Author

Commented:
So, if they set up an external URL with an IP address then they could forward that to the internal reporting server address?  Sorry I'm a database developer not really a networking person and I don't really have anybody else to bounce this off of.
Distinguished Expert 2017
Commented:
There are different ways to get to this information.
The reporting is an IIS site on a special port with a specific path i.e. http://reportingserver:8080:/reports where reportingserver is the internal IP on the LAN.

One option (usually not advisable) is to create a path on the external Firewall to pass requests on WAN IP port 8080 to reprotingserver port 8080.  This way external requests will land on this system.

Another option is to use a currently accessible IIS server i.e. www.yourcompany.com to have an ASP.NET page that accepts external connection i.e. www.yourcompany.com/review_reports.aspx
This page will use the Report viewing object to connect to the local/internal reportingserver and present the user based on authentication the reports they can view.
Another option is to use the public IIS, to proxy specific destination requests such that the request is forwarded from the public IIS server to the internal reportingserver, the response from the reportingserver is sent back to the public IIS server which in turn forwards the response to the user who made the original request (PROXY)
http://blogs.iis.net/carlosag/archive/2010/04/01/setting-up-a-reverse-proxy-using-iis-url-rewrite-and-arr.aspx

Alternatively, reporting can be configured to email reports as well.
Many things go into this i.e. the sensitivity of the information in the report, should the outgoing mailing be encrypted S/MIME or similar such that only the recipient will be able to open and view the contents.

There are many options that can come to the same conclusion i.e. make report A available to viewing by Users a,b,c,d,e, etc.
The issue is there is the huge gap between the report on reporting server getting to a location where these users can access/view it securely.

Author

Commented:
Thanks arnold!  That gives me a lot to go on and I am more clear now on what needs to happen.  Guess we'll just have to figure out what the best solution would be.  

Yea, I have used SSRS pretty extensively and I love it and at other places I've worked have set up many subscriptions and different delivery methods.  But usually, the company I work for is all internal and the only people looking at the reports are inside the domain.

So, I've never had to set it up where everything is external facing and most users are all remote and not accessing our application through a VPN.

So, where I am now they have never used SSRS and I'm trying to get them to see the light and convert this horrible hyperion report into SQL.  I just have to make sure its available via our website.

I guess most people that use SSRS don't use the report manager for a user interface eh?  Guess I'm the odd ball. :D

Thanks for the help!

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