Monday 15 August 2011

Fix for Exception - "Initialization of the data source failed" in TFS 2010 Excel Reports against SSAS 2008 R2

At one of my banking clients, there was an issue with the setup of the TFS Reports in Excel. When opening the Excel reports provided with TFS, it was attempting to connect to the TFS Analysis Services Cube - and generating the following exception:

Initialization of the data source failed.

Check the database server or contact your database administrator. Make sure the external database is available, and then try the operation again. If you see this message again, create a new data source to connect to the database.

Then you get prompted for credentials, and then get a message about reinstallation of drivers.

There are a few red-herrings in the messages provided by Excel - but the underlying problem in our situation was just a permissions one.

To resolve, you just need to give the end user with the problems permissions to access the SSAS database (e.g. by adding them to the TFSDataReaders role in SSAS).  Alternatively, you can add the user as a TFS Administrator in the TFS Administration console (though this is not preferred as it is against the security principle of "least priviledge").

Till next time,

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