Monday, September 15, 2008

Visual Studio 2008 Multiple Projects in a Solution

Every time I attempted to create a single solution in Visual Studio 2008 with multiple projects, the Solution icon in the Solutions window disappeared after adding the first project. That resulted in my not being able to add additional projects by right clicking the top level solution icon. You can fix that easily by clicking Tools --> Options --> "Projects and Solutions" General property page and checking "Always show solution". I am not sure why the default was unchecked, but it was. I hope this tip helps people that might be confused by this behavior.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where's my Cube? MSAS Deployment on Vista

In some ways I like Vista, but it sure seems like the learning curve on some development technologies is extended as a result. I seem to run into numerous things I need to track down and resolve that I wouldn't if I was developing on Server 2003 or XP. I created and deployed an Analysis Services cube... or at least I thought I did. The deployment wizard in VS 2005 indicated there were no errors and I was able to view the data in the VS browser, but when I opened Sql Server Management Studio (SSMS) and connected to my Analysis Services, my database and cube were not there.

After some experimentation and research, I realized I needed to right click and "run as Administrator" when I launched SSMS. When I did that, My cube magically appeared. Turns out Analysis Services uses the built in Windows User and Group functionality for security and the UAC puts a snag in it working as you might expect on Vista. Related url:

After having administrative access to the Analysis Services database you can add an Admin or other Role in the "Roles" folder tree adding the logged in Windows user account then you can open SSMS normally without the "run as administrator" and you will be able to see and manipulate the database.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Add Reporting Services to Existing MSSQL 2005 Install on Vista

This week I attempted to add Reporting Services to an existing SQL Server 2005 installation. I was met with an error that IIS was not configured, so the checkbox to install the Reporting Services component was greyed out. I have been using IIS on this box for over a year so the install was obviously looking for some configuration flag or feature to be installed that was not. The first thing I did was verify that the IIS 6 Compatibility options were installed, which they were. I remember adding them a year ago for something else that required it.

I happened across another blog which showed the many required Windows features in the Control Panel -- Programs and Features -- "Turn Windows features on or off" section. The only one that was unchecked was under the Common HTTP Features. The HTTP Redirection feature was unchecked. I checked the checkbox and that allowed me to add the Reporting Services component to my SQL Server installation.

The installation is complete. I ran through the Reporting Services configuration tool and hit the http://localhost/reports page. Oops, error. Finally with the help of Michael R. eluded to the removal of an extra backslash in the Handler Mapping which did resolve the issue. I don't know how he ever found that apparent typo that was configured by Reporting Services, but that solved the problem.

With the help of another handy blog,, I got the properties to show up on the Reports page by temporarily turning off the UAC and adding a user with appropriate roles to the Report Services web configuration.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Server 2008 Ready for Prime Time?

My recent experience with Windows Server 2008 leaves me wondering if I am just unlucky with Windows latest operating systems or if it just isn't ready for production yet. Understand that my experience with Server 2K8 is on Virtual PC 2007 (for obvious reasons), not a production box. I attempted to start the OS and received nothing but a black screen after the Vista-like progress bar. After booting to Safe-Mode with Networking the OS booted once normally after configuring a set of updates. I attempted to install SQL Server 2008, but after installing the .Net Framework 3.5 SP1, my OS restarted and was booting to a black screen again, even in Safe Mode with Networking. I restarted in Safe Mode without Networking and it gave me an endless "Configuring updates: Stage 3 of 3 - 98% complete. Do not turn off your computer". Seriously, it doesn't end.

It looks like I will be back to the drawing board with Server 2008 to get it working again. Reminds me of my Vista SP1 experience.