Grant permissions on a native mode report server

SQL Server Reporting Services uses role-based authorization and an authentication subsystem to determine who can perform operations and access items on a report server. Role-based authorization categorizes into roles the set of actions that a user or group can perform. Authentication is based on built-in Windows Authentication or a custom authentication module that you provide. You can use predefined or custom roles with either authentication type.

Use roles to grant report server access

All users interact with a report server within the context of a role that defines a specific level of access. Reporting Services includes predefined roles that you can assign to users and groups to provide immediate access to a report server. Content Manager, Publisher, and Browser are examples of predefined roles. Each role defines a collection of related tasks. For example, a Publisher has permission to add reports and create folders for storing those reports.

Role assignments are typically inherited from a parent node, but you can break permission inheritance by creating a new role assignment for a particular item. A user who is a member of the Content Manager role for one report might be a member of the Browser role for another report.

To grant access to report server items and operations:

  1. Review the predefined roles to determine whether you can use them as is. If you need to adjust the tasks or define additional roles, take these actions before you assign users to specific roles. For more information about each role, see Predefined roles.

  2. Identify which users and groups require access to the report server, and at what level. Assign most users to the Browser role or the Report Builder role. Assign a smaller number of users to the Publisher role. Assign only a few users to the Content Manager role.

  3. Use the web portal to assign roles on the Home folder for each user or group who requires access. The Home folder is the top-level folder of the report server folder hierarchy.

  4. At the site level, on the Site Settings page in the web portal, create a system-level role assignment for each user and group by using the predefined roles System User and System Administrator.

  5. Create additional role assignments as needed for specific folders, reports, and other items. Avoid creating a large number of role assignments. If you create too many, it's difficult to keep track of the different permission levels for each user.


If you configured a report server to run in SharePoint integrated mode, you must set permissions on the SharePoint site to grant access to report server items. For more information, see Grant permissions on report server items on a SharePoint site.

Reporting Services integration with SharePoint is no longer available after SQL Server 2016.

Who sets permissions

Initially, only users who are members of the local administrators group can access a report server. Reporting Services is installed with two default role assignments that grant item-level and system-level access to members of the local administrators group. Local administrators can use these built-in role assignments to grant report server access to other users and manage report server items. The built-in role assignments can't be deleted. A local administrator always has permission to fully manage a report server instance.

Additional configuration is required before you can administer a report server instance on a local computer that runs Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008. For more information, see Configure a native mode report server for local administration (SSRS).

How permissions are stored

Role assignments and definitions are stored in the report server database. If you use a variety of client tools or programmatic interfaces, all access is subject to the permissions that are defined for the report server instance as a whole. If you configure multiple report servers in a scale-out deployment, the role assignments that you define on one instance are stored in a shared database and used by all the other instances in the same scale-out deployment. Because role assignments are stored with the items they secure, you can move the database to another report server instance without losing the permissions you defined.

Tasks and tools for managing permissions

Use the following tools to manage role definitions and assignments.

Tool Tasks
Management Studio: Used to view, modify, create, and delete role definitions Create, delete, or modify a role (Management Studio)
The web portal: Used to assign users and groups to roles Grant user access to a report server

Modify or delete a role assignment

See also