Are the Mobile Reports only intended for internal (LAN) use/users? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Originally posted in the SQL Data Tools Forum by mistake.


    We are trying to design a extranet site for our customers by utilizing the dashboard technology in SQL 2016 Mobile Reports.  Unfortunatley, I am being told the only way to grant external (WAN) user access to the Mobile reports is to expose the main web portal to WAN traffic/users.  I don't want to do that because I'd like to use the server to host internal and external content (to save me having to purchase another 30K license and setup another beefy server).

    The current extranet site is written as an MVC application and use the report viewer to load existing paginated (non Mobile) reports from SQL server 2016.  We would like to use the same method/control to load the Mobile Reports but we have been told it's not compatible.

    Is there another way to load mobile reports into an MVC based website without exposing the server directly to WAN traffic/users?  In reality, I can't see how allowing external wan users direct access to the SSRS 2016 web portal is a good idea!  It would allow them far too much freedom to the server structure and expose our company to a ton of potential security threats and attacks.  Also, the users would be able to browse the entire site and potentially access/view folders and reports that are not applicable to them.  It seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

    Can anyone assist with this?

    Monday, October 10, 2016 12:24 PM

All replies

  • I really feel like this is a legitimate question given the limitations of loading the mobile reports outside of the SSRS Server.  I'm confused by the lack of response from anyone.  I was really hoping there would be a simple answer and that I was just wrong.  Am I trying to do something that's outside the scope of the product or are they actually at full release version?  There just seems to be so little activity going on with Mobile Reports and no one is using them or trying to apply them to any serious business application.

    • Edited by Phill D Tuesday, October 11, 2016 1:38 PM
    Tuesday, October 11, 2016 1:37 PM
  • I'm still hoping to get an answer on this.

    Thanks in advance.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2016 1:59 PM
  • Wow. I think Mobile Reports is a DOA product.
    Thursday, October 13, 2016 3:43 PM
  • Is that what you need?


    But you are damn right - support is awful.

    Thursday, October 13, 2016 7:50 PM
  • If I were to use it that way, the URL "https://reportserver/reports/mobilereport/Marketing%20Scorecard? rs:Embed=true" would have to be resolvable and accessible to the user on the website which would mean WAN traffic would have direct access to the SSRS2016 server.  That would be a really bad idea in an extranet environment where the reports could be customer specific and also contain internal business reports that are supposed to be isolated from the customers.
    Thursday, October 13, 2016 8:02 PM
  • <The current extranet site is written as an MVC application and use the report viewer to load existing paginated <(non Mobile) reports from SQL server 2016.

    Can you elaborate on that?

    Thursday, October 13, 2016 8:11 PM
  • There is a report viewer control that allows you to load an SSRS Reports into an MVC page, server side so that the web user doesn't have direct access to the SSRS server.
    Thursday, October 13, 2016 8:32 PM
  • Since a report fundamentally is not very interactive you run a report using SSRS Execution APIs, get it as a PDF or an image, and stick the result into your MVC page. A bit different approach but should work. 
    Thursday, October 13, 2016 8:37 PM
  • The SSRS reports we have built do include interactive functionality such as drill down and click through. We would like to use Mobile Reports to take that functionality to the next level.

    We already have the paginated reports working but haven't been able to make the Mobile Reports (Dashboard) work the same way.

    Also, for a few months, the ability to pass in parameters into the mobile reports was severely broken and it's only in the most recent release they fixed it.

    We purchased SQL 2016 Enterprise because of the new Mobile Reports Functionality and to gain the performance we need.  Microsoft did away with the Business Intelligence edition that previously would have given us the performance we needed.  So, if you're serious about building BI applications with SQL 2016, you have to get Enterprise edition.  It cost us over 30K for 1 license with no software assurance and now we're finding out it's broken in parts and still won't function to power or extranet portal.

    Very disappointed doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.  Although I cautioned the C.F.O about the product before we made the purchase, it will still be seen negatively against me that we spent the money and cannot gain the functionality we need.  In some companies, that might also be grounds for dismissal!    

    Thursday, October 13, 2016 8:50 PM
  • Hi Phil,

    SQL 2016 is a work in progress. They are fixing lots of things in it now. I think the only way to make this available to the outside is using IPv6. Have you explored the SSRS configuration manager?

    Saturday, October 15, 2016 9:51 PM
  • It's a work in progress alright!  Microsoft just don't tell you that when purchasing it.  I've read a few posts on exposing the SSRS server to the internet, I don't think I'd need IPvt6 to accomplish it but then, I haven't tried.  I also think it's a huge mistake to do it like that.  It's so open to abuse and hacking attempts.

    All I know is that we are able to allow our customers access to the SQL 2016 paginated reports through our MVC application via the report viewer which doesn't work for mobile reports.  I'm not the programmer who's been implementing that so I don't have specifics, I just know that we can't load Mobile Reports the same way.

    At this point, it just seems very clear that Mobile Reports are INTENDED for Internal Business Reporting only.  However, the moment CFO's and CEO's see that functionality, they are going to want to give that same capability to their customers as a selling tool.  Their I.T. departments need to be prepared to say that currently, it's not possible due to the potential security concerns in how it must be done. 

    Sunday, October 16, 2016 12:10 AM
  • I think Microsoft assumed that business data is proprietary so most wouldn't want it shared with the outside world but I think they failed to understand that large companies have to comply/get audited they should have put that feature in but I'm don't make decisions at Microsoft.
    Sunday, October 16, 2016 7:30 PM
  • I suppose it depends on the industry or service that the business is providing to it's customers, although, you could argue that almost any business could have a responsibility to provide some level of analytical data to it's customers at some point.

    After doing a bit of googling this weekend, the idea of providing dashboard type functionality to customers (vs internal users only) is not new.  In fact, it's the trend!  I can't see Microsoft missing the opportunity to jump on-board with this considering they already have the infrastructure to do it.  I know Microsoft already have their Power BI Platform but not every company want's to operate in the cloud or host their data with a 3rd party.

    Monday, October 17, 2016 4:21 PM
  • I'm faced with the exact same business requirement, exposing dashboards to external customers, but I have the exact same concerns with security and really do not want to expose the SSRS server directly to the internet, and then have some untold number of customers all needing Active Directory accounts within our domain in order to authenticate.  nightmare!!!

    I'm wondering, however, if PowerBI is a better approach?  I simply am not familiar enough with that architecture to know if external users can easily access the dashboards on their iPads (or whatever) that maintains live/drill-down ability into our data, and if/how they can be properly authenticated. 

    Seems there should be an easy solution to this...

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017 5:33 PM
  • I understand your pain.  We ended up dropping Mobile Reports technology in favor of the DevExpress Dashboard.  It was a colossal waste of $30K.

    Wednesday, March 1, 2017 9:59 PM