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Helper I
Helper I

Upgrading Power BI Report Server (October 2017) to March 2018



We had a contractor who upgraded  our on premise Report Server to October 2017. We now need to upgrade this to March 2018 however I have never done this before so just have a few queries


  • Would I simply remote into the report server and run the installation file for March 2018?
  • Are there any risks? Would upgrading the server make any existing reports not functionable? Would it delete them?
  • How long does the upgrade usually take?
  • Do all permissions stay the same?


Appreciate any help with this!


Not applicable

Yes you can remote onto the server and just run the new installer. You can select the instance to update then.


It was pretty painless for us. If you are paranoid (like me) take a backup fo the ReportServerDB beforehand. This probably gets updated as part of the upgrade. A rollback of the install will return you to your Oct version of the rpeortServer, you can then restore the DB and you'd be back to square one 


Everything installed on your existing server should come out fine if you are updating an existing install. (it did for us, not that we were doing anything terribly complicated)


It took about 15 mins for us.



Thanks for this! Quick question - whats the process of rolling back the install if it doesn't go to plan? I have already backed up the databases

Not applicable

Depends if its a VM or not.


If its a VM, the simplest roll back is to get your infrastructure guys to take a snapshot of the entire VM before you start. Then rollback is just restoring that (depends how friendly your infrastructure guys are)



If not then you can backup the DB. Don't forget to backup the encryption keys (make a note of the password you use for this) and make a note of the settings/user accounts used in the SSRS-PBI config tool. You'll need the encryption keys to access some of the DB content, important stuff like connectionstrings and stored usernames and passwords. You should this anyway as part of any DR plan.


If like me you're really paranoid, we keep a copy of all our reports on disk anyway as we export everything out regularly. There are PowerShell scripts kicking around that do this. I've never had to import them wholesale, just push an odd one back in where some change to a report needs to be rolled back.


Make sure you have the old Installer available so you can run that to repair/re-install if the upgrade goes badly. I think the new installer will enable an "un-install" that should set things back to the way they were. You may have to uninstall the new version and then run repair using the old version.


All your content is in the DB anyway. So once you have a working environment you can restore the DB and encryption keys and get back to where you were.


Of course if you want to try it first you could get them to spin up a new VM, Install Oct17 onto that, restore the DB and Encryption keys to get you a working replica environment and then run the upgrade/update on that first.


It all depends how much wokr you want to do. We have VM snapshots that we can backtrack into so its really low risk to just run this stuff for us.


I notice in my installation directory I have a PBIRS folder (the current deployed server) and a PBIRS.OLD folder which I assume is the Oct17 version of the codebase. 

Not applicable

Thank you for the info planning to upgrade form PBI RS(Jan 2019) to PBI RS(May 2019) and this will be very helpful 🙂

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