Configure Basic authentication on the report server

By default, Reporting Services accepts requests that specify Negotiate and NTLM authentication. If your deployment includes client applications or browsers that use Basic authentication, you must add Basic authentication to the list of supported types. In addition, if you want to use Report Builder, you must enable Anonymous access to the Report Builder files.

To configure Basic authentication on the report server, you edit XML elements and values in the RSReportServer.config file. You can copy and paste the examples in this article to replace the default values.

Before you enable Basic authentication, verify that your security infrastructure supports it. Under Basic authentication, the Report Server Web service passes credentials to the local security authority. If the credentials specify a local user account, the local security authority on the report server computer authenticates the user. Then, the user gets a security token that is valid for local resources. Credentials for domain user accounts are forwarded to and authenticated by a domain controller. The resulting ticket is valid for network resources.

Channel encryption, such as Transport Layer Security (TLS), previously known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), is required if you want to mitigate the risk of having credentials intercepted while in transit to a domain controller in your network. By itself, Basic authentication transmits the user name in clear text and the password in base-64 encoding. Adding channel encryption makes the packet unreadable. For more information, see Configure TLS Connections on a Native Mode Report Server.

After you enable Basic authentication, users can't select the Windows integrated security option when setting connection properties to an external data source that provides data to a report. The option is grayed out in the data source property pages.


The following instructions are intended for a native mode report server. If the report server is deployed in SharePoint integrated mode, you must use the default authentication settings that specify Windows integrated security. The report server uses internal features in the default Windows Authentication extension to support report server in SharePoint integrated mode.

Configure a report server to use Basic authentication

  1. Open RSReportServer.config in a text editor.

    To find the config file, see the File Location section in the "RsReportServer.config Configuration File" article.

  2. Find <Authentication>.

  3. Copy one of the following XML structures that best fits your needs. The first XML structure provides placeholders for specifying all of the elements, which are described in the next section:

    Applies to:  SQL Server Reporting Services (2016)


    If you use default values, you can copy the minimum element structure:


    Applies to:  SQL Server Reporting Services (2017 and later)  Power BI Report Server

  4. Paste it over the existing entries for <Authentication>.

    If you use multiple authentication types, add just the RSWindowsBasic element but don't delete the entries for RSWindowsNegotiate, RSWindowsNTLM, or RSWindowsKerberos.

    You can't use Custom with other authentication types.

  5. Replace empty values for <Realm> or <DefaultDomain> with values that are valid for your environment.

  6. Save the file.

  7. If you configured a scale-out deployment, repeat these steps for other report servers in the deployment.

  8. Restart the report server to clear any sessions that are currently open.

RSWindowsBasic reference

The following elements can be specified when configuring Basic authentication.

Element Required Valid Values
LogonMethod Yes

If you don't specify a value, 3 is used.
2 = Network logon, intended for high performance servers to authenticate plain text passwords.

3 = Cleartext logon, which preserves logon credentials in the authentication package that is sent with each HTTP request, allowing the server to impersonate the user when connecting to other servers in the network. (Default)

Note: Values 0 (for interactive logon) and 1 (for batch logon) are NOT supported in SQL Server 2016 (13.x) Reporting Services or later (SSRS).
Realm Optional Specifies a resource partition that includes authorization and authentication features used to control access to protected resources in your organization.
DefaultDomain Optional Specifies the domain used by the server to authenticate the user. This value is optional, but if you omit it the report server uses the computer name as the domain. If the computer is a member of domain, that domain is the default domain. If you installed the report server on a domain controller, the domain used is the one controlled by the computer.

Application domains for Report Server applications
Reporting Services security and protection