A bunch of Users has been given access to a SQL Server 2008 R2 reporting services instance. Due to a policy the users only may access the services through a Remote Desktop instance. We have handed out Remote App links to the Internet Explorer calling the internal http://reporting/Reports URL which is working. Users can use the Reporting Server functionality, but they are unable to start the Report Builder by hitting the appropriate button:

reporting services web site

The Report Builder comes as a ClickOnce application and clicking the button seems to induce loading the reference (http://reporting/ReportServer/ReportBuilder/ReportBuilder_3_0_0_0.application), but the application is not starting. If the same users log in to a full Remote Desktop session and call the same URI in the Internet Explorer, the Report Builder is starting just fine.


The problem is that a ClickOnce application seems to need Windows Explorer to be running as the shell.

As a quick workaround, the RemoteApp definition might just call %SYSTEMROOT%\explorer.exe instead of the iexplore.exe executable. Providing an URI as a parameter to the explorer.exe call would set up the RemoteApp session with explorer.exe as the shell and run the default browser (IE) with the URI provided subsequently:

remoteapp definition

As a result, the Reporting Services ClickOnce start should succeed.

As an alternative, the standalone executable of the Reporting Services Report Builder can be installed on the Remote Desktop Session host and deployed to the users as a separate Remote App.

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