VS2010 – Reports not working? Enhanced security may be the culprit

Playing around with the 2010 beta bits in my little virtual server world I noticed that basically anywhere I went I’d get an IE warning about site content being blocked. I didn’t really mind, being that I don’t actually allow my virtual network to have internet connectivity. That is, until I went to play with the reporting bits and couldn’t view any of my reports!

The culprit for the consistent security warnings is IE’s Enhanced Security Configuration. This little baby is designed to stop me from hurting myself by only allowing me to view ‘safe’ web sites. If you’re interested in the details – this Microsoft whitepaper will get you started in the right direction. Suffice to say, it jacks up your browser security settings to the point of disabling animations and sounds and clearing your local cache when you close the browser.

IE ESC Blocked Site Screen

IE ESC Blocked Site Screen

So – how to fix the problem? There are really 2 routes we can take. Your configuration and exposure will really dictate which suits you. Keeping in mind of course that ESC is there for a good reason (see previously linked white paper) and you should only really be taking these measures if you have a server OS operating as a client e.g. SharePoint dev machine.
The first, and most drastic way to get your reports working is to turn the enhanced security off. This can be achieved in Server 2003 by removing the component through the Add/Remove Programs menu and in Server 2008 through the server configuration utilities IE ESC config utility.

IE ESC Configuration Utility

IE ESC Configuration Utility

Obviously if you’ve got internet connectivity, and/or you really want to limit your servers exposure through your browser you’ll need to find another way. This means adjusting the trust settings in IE set it up to consider your TFS site as a trusted host. The easiest way to allow access to all your TFS based sites (reporting, web access, team site) is to add the TFS host name with a wildcard mapping e.g. http://tfs2010/* to the trusted sites collection. You can either do this on a server by server basis, or you can configure it for the domain as per the instructions referenced by this knowledge base article.

So there you have it. How to get around IE’s enhanced security and get your tfs sites up and running as they should be!

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