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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Installing and Troubleshooting M&A on Win / SQL 2008

With some upcoming presentations on the horizon it was time to build a new Win 2008 VPC. I found out a few gotchas that are worth noting in order to get your fresh, standalone M&A instance up and running quickly. Please note I haven’t tried all the different install scenario permutations. I found some of the points below helped me to get things working as they should.


First some pre-install tips. Don’t worry if you’re reading this after you’ve installed, just keep the following in mind for next time.

UPDATE: here is a MS knowledgebase article that detailing steps to perform SQL 2008 / PPS installs

Install SP2 before you configure M&A

I don’t know of a specific reason why you shouldn’t configure the M&A server and then load SP2, but it’s probably a good practice on a fresh install. So install M&A, but don’t run the configuration wizard yet. Next install M&A SP2 (remember, you only need to execute PSCSrv.msp, the others are for Planning). Once you’re done, run the configuration wizard.

Install SQL 2005 CU 9 Updates

You may be given a pre-req warning signal while configuring the M&A server telling you that “SQL ADOMD.NET 9.0 (SP2) is not installed”. Note that this is not a red hard-stop, just a yellow warning; you can actually go ahead without these bits if you wish. I actually ignored it on one install and didn’t find any real difference in my ability to connect to both SQL 2005 and 2008 SSAS cubes, nonetheless it’s nice to have greens all the way down the checklist when you install.

Load the following CU 9 updates for SQL 2005 (no, you don’t need to have SQL 2005 installed). You can download these here.

  • SQLServer2005_ADOMD
  • SQLServer2005_ASOLEDB9
  • SQLServer2005_XMO

Post Install

The following assumes you have installed and configured SQL 2008, MOSS/SharePoint and PPS M&A and are having problems getting things going.

.NET Framework 3.5 & AJAX Extensions 1.0

Once you’ve run through the M&A configuration steps and subsequently try to deploy, publish or connect to the server you may come into some trouble in the form of the (very descriptive) “Unable to connect to server” error.


If you try and browse to the M&A web service (http://MyServerName:40000/WebService/PmService.asmx) you might be faced with a stack trace that looks similar to this:

Configuration Error
Description: An error occurred during the processing of a configuration file required to service this request. Please review the specific error details below and modify your configuration file appropriately.

Parser Error Message: Could not load file or assembly 'System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

Source Error:

Line 23:     <compilation defaultLanguage="c#" debug="false">
Line 24:       <assemblies>
Line 25:         <add assembly="System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" />
Line 26:       </assemblies>
Line 27:     </compilation>

Source File: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server\3.0\Monitoring\PPSMonitoring_1\WebService\web.config    Line: 25

Assembly Load Trace: The following information can be helpful to determine why the assembly 'System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' could not be loaded.

The .NET Framework 3.5 is a pre-req for SQL 2008. Excellent. AJAX is now a built in component of 3.5, so when we ran the M&A Configuration Manager we no longer get a warning flag asking us to install the AJAX 1.0 extension (when configuring M&A on earlier versions of the framework we were warned that we needed to install the AJAX 1.0 components). However, this appears be a red herring – it seems installing v1.0 of AJAX will actually be more of a help than a hindrance.

From my testing these problems seem to be caused by M&A still looking for version 1.0.61025.0 of AJAX but not finding it. Simply changing the value in the Version attribute in various web.config files as I referenced in this post some time ago seems to help but did not resolve the problem completely for me this time.

Solution: If your M&A server is already installed and configured don’t worry. Download and install the AJAX Extensions 1.0. After an IISRESET you should be good to go.

Ensure the Application Pools are Started

I found that when I did a fresh install on Server 2008 some of the M&A application pools sometimes did not get started automatically. This can result in “503 Service is Unavailable” and / or “Unable to connect to server” messages. Go into the IIS manager and ensure both the Preview Site and Monitoring Service application pools are started.


tamzynb said...

Hi Nick
I knew I should have come to your blog first. I just had this issue in setting up a virtual machine with 2008 already installed! We worked it out but took a day!
nice work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nick,
Couldn't download dashboard Designer after my install. Your prompt to check the Application Pools had been started was timely. Talk about overlooking the obvious