Encryption key and SQL Server Reporting Service

A friend of mine ran into a problem with reporting service:

He took a copy of production virtual image and put it in dev. He was very careful and made proper changes to the virtual machine including changing the server name and IP address. After changes are done, he realized he couldn’t get reporting server to work anymore.


He double checked production, reporting service is working fine. He went back and checked his dev copy, everything seemed fine. He was pointing to right ‘new’ server and reporting server wasn’t even toughed!


What could be possibly wrong?

It turned out the ‘unchanged’ reporting service is wrong – encryption key of reporting service needs to regenerated so that reporting service will be able to function.


It’s important to change encryption key when ANY of following items changes:

  • Resetting the service account’s password
  • Changing the Reporting Services Windows service account
  • Changing the server’s name
  • Changing the name of the Reporting Services instance



To change encryption key, we could use Reporting Services Configuration Manager:


3rd button on the right will regenerate a new key and this solved my friend’s problem.



In the meantime, it’s also critical to backup encryption key and be kept in a safe place to avoid potential data loss.


There are 2 ways of backup methods provided by SSRS:
1. Backup button in Reporting Services Configuration Manager

2. rskeymgmt.exe under C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn. Note: this location might be different for your installation.




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