SQL Server Data Tools for Visual Studio 2013 – Report Sizes

Today I started down the path of getting the previously-named “Business Intelligence Studio” (now called SQL Server Data Tools) up and running on my local machine.  I already had  SQL Reporting Services (SSRS) 2014 installed, but had just never gotten around to installing the BI development suite.

I’m going to be honest and state upfront, it’s been a while since I’ve stuck my head into SSIS and SSRS development – about four years or so I’d guess.  Remarkably, on the surface it doesn’t have appeared to change that much.  In my journey I encountered an interesting issue out of the box, so I thought I’d document it here.

Firstly – what are you installing?  I found this quite a decent summary:

There are different versions of these SSDT tools depending on the version of Visual Studio that you are using.

  • SQL Server tooling in Visual Studio 2013—Visual Studio 2013 Express for Web, Express for Windows Desktop, Professional, Premium, and Ultimate include the SSDT tools. You don’t need a separate download. To check for the latest version of SSDT, open Visual Studio 2013 and choose the Tools, Extensions, and Updates menu. Then check the Updates section for Microsoft SQL Server Update for database tooling.
  • SSDT Visual Studio 2012—There is a standalone install experience as well as an integrated install for the Visual Studio Professional, Premium, and Ultimate SKUs.
  • SSDT Visual Studio 2010—This version of SSDT is no longer being updated.

The other version of SSDT is confusingly called SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence (SSDT-BI). Although their names are almost identical, SSDT-BI is a distinctly different toolset than SSDT. SSDT-BI is the replacement for BIDS and it enables the development of Integration Services packages, Analysis Services cubes, and Reporting Services reports.

Both versions of SSDT are no cost downloads for SQL Server users. You can find both SSDT and SSDT-BI at Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools.

Source: http://sqlmag.com/sql-server-2014/sql-server-data-tools-sql-server-2014

Here’s some direct links:

Once you’ve installed the right version (I’m running SSDT – VS 2013), you’ll find it installed as “SQL Server Data Tools”.  Oddly, it also seems to insall the VS 2012 IDE shell, but runs in the VS 2013 IDE shell.


So I ran up Visual Studio and started a new Reporting project. 


The first thing I did was created a new Report (blank) and then dragged some fields onto the report form.  I also added an image, just for fun.  I had to configure the project’s Target URL (as localhost) and ultimately had to use a browser (as Administrator) to grant my local account credentials to publish and run reports.

Eventually I managed to get past the permissions issues, and almost deployed my almost-blank report until this happened:

“System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapException: There was an exception running the extensions specified in the config file. —> System.Web.HttpException: Maximum request length exceeded.”

I thought to myself, well, that’s odd.  It’s almost a blank report.  It was the configuration of the SSRS server, which was limiting report sizing to the default (MaxRequestLength where its default value is 4096 KB – 4 MB).  SO I had a look at the debug folder and lo and behold, once encoded this .rdl file would be over the 4 MB threshold, because of the embedded image:


Steps to change the http request limit:

    1. Go to the SSRS folder location on the Report Server

    (Example-> C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSRS12.MSSQLSERVER\Reporting Services\ReportServer)

    2. Open the File web.config in Notepad (or a text editor)

    3. Locate the line <httpRuntime executionTimeout=”9000″/>

    4. Modify it to <httpRuntime executionTimeout=”9000″ maxRequestLength = “16384” />

    5. Restart Reporting Services

Now you should be able to deploy a larger report definition.

Microsoft Azure – Migrating between subscriptions

Recently I had an old Microsoft Azure subscription ready to expire, yet I still had some resources linked to the outgoing subscription in question.  Some of the active websites on another subscription still used SQL Databases on the old subscription.

If you find yourself needing to move Azure assets between active subscriptions, this information might be useful in helping you plan your migration.  Microsoft can assist by doing some of the heavy lifting for you.

Depending on your level of licensing, you may be able to open a free support ticket by navigating to http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/support/options/ and clicking on the “Get Support” link.

Migration Options

To give you an idea what may be involved, the following information was sent to me from Microsoft during my support ticket.  This is a list (current as of time of writing) about what can and can not be migrated between Azure subscriptions.

  • We do not support selective service transfer; transfer only a selected hosted service, storage service from one subscription to another. This may become available in future but today, we must transfer all services or none.
  • The source as well as destination subscription must be active.
  • The destination subscription must be completely empty. (We do have separate process to migrate to a subscription with services running, however it requires more time.)  
  • The source and destination subscriptions must have the same service administrator until the migration is complete.
  • The source and destination subscription cannot contain deployments/affinity groups with the same name.
  • There are some services that we cannot migrate and other services you will migrate yourself.  Please see the table below.

Azure can move:

You must move:

Unable to move:

Virtual Machines



Cloud Services


BizTalk Services

Web Sites

Active Directory

HD Insight

Media Services





Hyper-V Recovery Manager

Multi Factor Authentication


Azure Store

Traffic Manager


Import / Export

Mobile Services



Virtual Network


Management Services 

Access Control Service (ACS)


Azure Automation

Reserved IP Address + Reserved IPs under the list





Express Route

SQL Azure Server and Included DBs



Migration Prep Work

The service administrator on both the source and destination should be the same (Steps provided below). Temporarily, please update the Service Administrator on the Destination Subscription same as a Service Admin on the Source Subscription ID.

  • Login in to https://account.windowsazure.com using your Live ID.
  • Click on the “Account” tab.
  • Click on the “Subscriptions” tab.
  • Select the subscription for which you want to change the service administrator.
  • Click on “Edit subscription details”.
  • Here you will find the option to change the service administrator.

This is a prerequisite step which you must perform before Microsoft can perform any migration work for you.

Migrating SQL Azure

If you have any SQL databases, you may migrate them yourself by following the steps below: 

  • Login to https://manage.windowsazure.com using your Live ID.
  • Make sure all the subscriptions are selected by clicking on the “Subscriptions” tab.
  • Click on SQL Databases.
    • Click on servers.
    • Click on the server name which you would like to transfer.
  • Select “Dashboard” if it is not already selected.
  • Click on “Change Subscription”.
  • Choose the new subscription and complete the wizard

I have not attempted to migrate VSO or Active Directory.

I hope you found this information useful!


Windows 10 Insider Preview 10074

At the start of this month, Microsoft released another preview edition of the upcoming next edition to the Windows operating system franchise.  This is Preview 10074, and contains a few very interesting changes.  I ran up the Preview image earlier today to take a look at what’s new.

Installing Windows 10

It seems Microsoft is wedded on the concept of users specifying or creating a Microsoft Account to use their new operating system:

Microsoft Account Mandatory

This, of  course, is not exactly new as the concept of using Microsoft Accounts has been around since Windows 8.1. There is an alternative which can allow you to create a local account, although I haven’t tested this on the Windows 10 previews yet.

Logging in for the first time

Once we get past the usual install process and you’ve created an account (or associated it to an existing Microsoft account) you’ll get to authenticate and find yourself on the new Windows desktop.  In my experience, the returning start menu wouldn’t respond.

At some point dropped into the control panel when I received this hint:

Sign out?

Signing out and back in again seems to finalise some configuration or settings and the Start menu responds:


Web Browsing Edge

Now that we’ve got that sorted, it was time to do some exploring (pardon the pun).  I located something called “Project Spartan” which you can see from the Start Menu – third blue square on the top row.  Of course I know that this was the codename for what has been unveiled as Microsoft Edge – the replacement for Internet Explorer.

Microsoft Edge

Sure enough, this preview version has an early version of Microsoft Edge included.  I’m beginning to suspect that the name was chosen because the browser has almost no UI around the web page content – incredibly minimal toolbars. status bars etc.

It also features functionality which allows you to overlay comments on web pages and to highlight sections of web pages:

image image

Right, what else can we see?

The “control panel” still features the redefined icons and layout, but the notification center (available via the system tray icon which looks like an IM icon) has gone on steroids and now covers more than a third of the screen when activated.

image image

Sign in options include an ability for touchscreen enabled users to preselect a series of lines/circles overlaid on a picture as a “smart authentication” option, over PIN and standard passwords:


At one point the machine almost locked up due to the obscurely named “UnistackSvcGroup” of mysterious services decided to use 97% of the VM’s CPU for no apparent reason.  Stopping one of the services fixed the problem, but I’ll have to investigate what that stuff does later.


Windows App Store

Since I used a Microsoft account, I was able to access the Windows App Store.  Naturally, I installed my own Windows apps for testing purposes.  You can obtain the Aussie Wine Guy or the Sanders Technology apps for free!

image image

They load fine in the app container, but I found a performance problem when doing an initial resize of the container – the desktop locked up for about a minute.

Larger screen real estate helps, but the horizontal scrolling still seems a bit odd.  Must fix that at some point.


That’s all for now as I really need/want to return to the Windows Server preview which I started looking at on Friday.