Configuring Report Server Virtual Directories

Updated: 12 December 2006

In Reporting Services, URLs are used to access the report server, Report Manager, Report Builder, and individual reports. This topic describes the URLs that are used to access the report server and Report Manager, provides guidelines on how to create the virtual directories for each application, and includes a summary of the settings that are stored in the configuration files.

This topic does not describe URL access to Report Builder or to specific reports that are stored on the report server. For more information about URL access to these items, see Starting Report Builder and Using a URL to Access Report Server Items in SQL Server Books Online.

If a report server is configured to run within a larger deployment of a SharePoint product or technology, URL and virtual directory construction will be affected in the following ways:

  • For URL access to specific items, always use a fully qualified URL that includes a file name extension (such as .rdl for a report). All items on a SharePoint site are referenced through fully qualified URLs that include a file name extension used to distinguish between different types of report server items. You must specify fully qualified URLs when referencing shared data sources and models in reports, and when you specify a target server and folders for publish operations to a report server.
  • For side-by-side deployments where the report server and the SharePoint technology instance are installed on the same computer, you cannot use http://localhost/reportserver. If http://localhost is used to access the SharePoint Web application, you must use a non-default Web site or a unique port assignment to access a report server. Furthermore, if the report server is integrated with a SharePoint farm, localhost access to a reports server will not resolve for nodes in the deployment that are installed on remote computers.
  • The URL and virtual directory for Report Manager cannot be configured. If you do configure it, it will no longer work after you deploy a report server in SharePoint integrated mode. Report Manager is not supported in this mode.

For more information about deployment modes and URL requirements for publishing items, see Deployment Modes for Reporting Services and Deploying Reports, Models, and Shared Data Sources to a SharePoint Site.

In SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, the report server and Report Manager are accessed through URLs that include dedicated virtual directories configured specifically for each component.

  • The Report Manager virtual directory is used to access Report Manager. By default, the virtual directory name for Report Manager is reports.
  • The report server virtual directory provides programmatic access to the Report Server Web service SOAP endpoints. It is also the root node of the report server folder namespace that provides URL addressing for reports, resources, models, shared data sources, and folders stored in the report server. By default, the virtual directory name for the report server is reportserver.

The virtual directories are part of the complete URL that is used to access Report Manager and the report server. A complete URL includes the following parts.

http:// or https://

The URL starts with a prefix. The https prefix is used if the server is configured for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

Http:// and https:// are the most common prefixes, but other prefixes are supported. For more information about URL construction, see URL Access Syntax in SQL Server Books Online.

A server name

This can be the computer name on the network. It can be localhost if you are accessing it locally. If the computer is accessible over an Internet connection, it must be a fully-qualified domain name.

A Web site

The Web site is an IIS construct that identifies which application receives the request.

This can be the default Web site. If you are using a custom Web site, it might be an IP address, a host header, or a port number. For more information about different ways to identify a Web site, see the Hosting Multiple Web Sites on a Single Server topic in the Internet Information Services (IIS) product documentation.

A virtual directory

The virtual directory is the only part of the URL that is configured through Reporting Services.

To create the virtual directory, you use the Reporting Services Configuration tool. If you are installing a default configuration, Setup will create the virtual directory for you.

When Setup creates the virtual directory, it uses the instance name if one exists. For example, if you install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services in the default configuration, Setup will use reportserver$SQLEXPRESS for the virtual directory name.

URLs provide end-user or programmatic access to a report server. For more information about connections to a report server, see Connections and Accounts in a Reporting Services Deployment in SQL Server Books Online.

The following list shows some examples of what a report server URL might look like:

  • http://localhost/reportserver
  • http://localhost/reportserver$SQLEXPRESS
  • http://sales01/reportserver
  • http://sales01:8080/reportserver

URLs that you use to access Report Manager share a similar format and are typically created under the same Web site that hosts the report server. The only difference is the virtual directory name (in this case, it is reports but you can configure it to use whatever name you want):

  • http://localhost/reports
  • http://localhost/reports$SQLEXPRESS
  • http://sales01/reports
  • http://sales01:8080/reports

Both the report server and Report Manager virtual directories must be created under an existing Web site. You can use the default Web site or a custom Web site. You can use the same Web site for both virtual directories. There are no special requirements on the Web site. All security, ASP.NET, paths, permissions, and other settings are configured on the virtual directories.

When you create the virtual directory, the Report Server Web service identity is configured automatically. The version of Internet Information Services (IIS) that you are using determines the Web service identity:

  • In IIS 6.0, the application pool that contains the Web site determines the Web service identity. By default, it is NetworkService.
  • In IIS 5.0, the Web service identity is always the ASP.NET process identity. By default, it is computername\ASPNET.

The Reporting Services virtual directories are configured to use ASP.NET 2.0 (this is the version that is installed with SQL Server). If you are running earlier versions of ASP.NET on your Web server, make sure that the different versions of ASP.NET do not conflict. The two major versions of the ASP.NET cannot run in the same process. In IIS 6.0, you can run different versions of ASP.NET side-by-side if you use separate application pools for each version. In IIS 5.0, each version of ASP.NET runs as a separate process automatically.

The report server virtual directories are configured for intranet access. Anonymous access is disabled by default. In most cases, report server URLs use network computer names. If you want to configure Reporting Services for Internet connections, you might need to modify the report server configuration files. For more information, see the section in this topic called "Configuration Settings for Specifying the URLs Used in Reporting Services" and Configuring a Report Server for Internet Access.

You cannot configure a report server virtual directory to use program or data files on a remote computer. The report server virtual directory must be defined on the computer that has the Reporting Services program files. Mapping a report server virtual directory to shared folder through a UNC path or a mapped drive is not supported.

To create and configure virtual directories, use the Reporting Services Configuration tool.

To run the report server and Report Manager under a custom Web site, see How to: Configure Reporting Services to Use a Non-Default Web Site (Reporting Services Configuration).

To specify an application pool for the Report Server Web service, use the Web Service Identity page in the Reporting Services Configuration tool.

As with all virtual directories, you can further customize the report server and Report Manager virtual directories through Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). Further customization should only be required if you are deploying a custom security extension or if you are using a non-default Web site. If you customize the settings and break the deployment as a result, you can use the Reporting Services Configuration tool to reset the virtual directories to use the default configuration.

Using a Custom Port Number

To configure the report server or Report Manager to use a port other than port 80, you must edit the configuration files.

  1. Open RSReportServer.config in a text editor.
  2. Append the port number to the UrlRoot setting in the rsreportserver.config file. For example, if Urlroot is set to http://sales01/report server, set it to http://sales01:8080/reportserver instead.
  3. Open RSWebApplication.config in a text editor.
  4. Set ReportServerUrlto the same URL you specified in UrlRoot.
  5. Delete the value (but not the tags) for ReportServerVirtualDirectory.
  6. Save both files.

If you are using a custom port for a site that is configured for SSL, additional steps are required. For more information about how to use SSL on a port other than 443, see Configuring a Report Server for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Connections.

Redirection to the Report Manager Virtual Directory

Through IIS, you can use Report Manager as the default home page for the Web server. To configure redirection, use the following settings:

  1. Open IIS Manager.
  2. Right-click the Web site that hosts Report Manager and select Properties.
  3. Click the Home Directory tab.
  4. Click A redirection to a URL.
  5. In Redirect to:, type /reports. Delete "http://" if it is in the text box.
  6. Select A directory below URL entered if you are using IIS 6.0. If you are using IIS 5.0, the option to select is A directory below this one.
  7. Click OK.

Reporting Services configuration files include settings that have a URL as a value. The following table provides a concise summary of all the URLs that can be specified in a Reporting Services configuration file. You can use the descriptions to see how the URLs compare. To view an example of how some of these settings are used together, see RSWebApplication Configuration File.

Setting Description


Specifies the SOAP endpoint of the report server that is used by Report Manager. Valid values include the report server virtual directory name. For example, if the report server URL is, the value for the ReportServerVirtualDirectory setting is reportserver. Report Manager uses localhost to connect to the report server. If localhost is not enabled, use ReportServerUrl instead.

This setting is defined in the RSWebApplication.config file. This value is created during Setup or through the Reporting Services Configuration tool when you configure the Report Manager virtual directory. You can also edit the configuration file to modify the value.

This setting requires that Report Manager and the report server be configured to use the same Web site. If they use different Web sites, delete the value for ReportServerVirtualDirectory and use ReportServerUrl instead.


Provides an alternate way to specify the SOAP endpoint of the report server that is used by Report Manager. You can use this setting instead of ReportServerVirtualDirectory when Report Manager and the report server virtual directories are hosted on separate servers or Web sites.

To specify this setting, you must edit the RSWebApplication.config file manually. Valid values include http://<server>/<reportserver> or https://<server>/<reportserver> if you are using SSL certificates. If Report Manager is installed separately on an Internet-facing Web server, this value must be a fully qualified domain name that can be used to access a report server instance behind the firewall. This value can never be set to localhost.

If a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is installed, this value must be the name of the server that is registered for that certificate. If you get the error "The underlying connection was closed: Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel", set ReportServerUrl to the fully-qualified domain name of the server for which the SSL certificate was issued. For example, if the certificate is registered to, the report server URL would be


Used by delivery extensions to compose the URL used to access items stored on the report server. For example, if you are using the Report Server E-mail delivery extension, the UrlRoot value is used to create a hyperlink to the report that is being distributed.

This value is also used to resolve links in a rendered report that is generated through unattended report processing.

This setting is specified in the RSReportServer.config file.

This value is specified during setup or through the Reporting Services Configuration tool if you installed the report server in a files-only installation. The value must be a valid URL address to a report server. If the report server will be accessed over the Internet, set it to a value that is accessible over an Internet connection.

Release History

12 December 2006

New content:
  • About URLs and Virtual Directories for a Report Server in SharePoint Integrated Mode

17 July 2006

New content:
  • Added examples of how to specify configuration settings.
Changed content:
  • ReportServerURL and ReportServerVirtualDirectory

14 April 2006

New content:
  • Added examples of how to specify URLs for the report server and Report Manager.

Community Additions