Upgrade SQL Server SSRS to Power BI Report Server

Wanted to make a quick guide on upgrading SSRS Report Server to Power BI Report Server. This is an in-place upgrade, we will replace the existing SSRS Report Server with Power BI. These are the upgrade steps for SQL 2016--I can't say how different this process is on an older version though I can't image much. Power BI Report Server is a stand alone product now. Here are the steps you will need to follow.

  • Take a full backup of your ReportServer and ReportServerTempDB databases
  • Backup the SSRS Encryption Key and make sure you save the password you used to back it up.
  • Stop the SSRS Report Server service
  • Detach the ReportServer and ReportServerTempDB databases (we want these in case we need to roll back, your backups would work also, up to you).
  • Restore the ReportServer and ReportServerTempDB databases you backed up, keep the same database names but give them new physical file names, for example, PowerBIReportServer.mdf.
  • Install the PowerBI Report Server
  • Configure the PowerBI Report Server.
    • Start the service
    • When you configure the http reservations, it will override the existing SSRS Report Server reservations. That is fine and what you want; you will see a warning when this happens, you can ignore it. If you had to roll back, when you uninstall the PowerBI Report Server it would release those reservations back to SSRS Report Manager.
    • Point the service at the existing databases you just restored. Important note here: because we are effectively restoring SSRS Reporting database to the PowerBI Report Server, it's important that you don't change the names of these databases. Your SSRS report subscriptions will be looking for the original name of the databases, if this is changed your subscriptions will not work.
    • Make sure you configure your email setting on the new server. If you fail to do this you will get an error when you try to open existing subscriptions on the server, because it is expecting those mail settings.
  • Once you have finished configuring the server, restore the SSRS encryption key you backed up. This will restart the service at which point the upgrade is complete.

Not a lot to it, but there were a few things not mentioned in the Microsoft guide which is why I wanted to create this here. Keeping the database names the same and also the issue with email configuration and subscriptions. It's a pretty simple upgrade and the new PowerBI Report Server is a nice addition to the Microsoft BI stack.