At a customer we were faced with this error and very quickly we found out it was only certain WFE’s which were causing the issue. So given the following scenario
- Server A : WFE
- Server B : WFE
- Server C : WFE + Index + Central Admin
It was working like a charm when were accessing the SharePoint environment using Server C (by manually editing the host file of our client desktop) and it failed to work if we pointed to Server A and Server B. That was quite weird.. it seemed, while looking at the error, that the WFE’s couldn’t connect to the ReportServer. So while logged on remotely on Server A and Server B, the ReportServer was working and was accessible through each WFE.
Then we thought.. wait a minute.. what’s so different between Server A & B and Server C? Well.. it’s also the Index server, meaning that SharePoint modifies the host file of the Index server so it can crawl locally. So we tried browsing, while logged on Server A and B remotely, to the SharePoint sites and we got 404’s. So it looked like that locally, SharePoint wasn’t working. We modified the hosts file each server and voila.. SharePoint worked locally on each server.
And guess what.. after doing this, the Reporting Services stuff started working as well! :)
Question of course is.. why did it work when SharePoint started working locally on the servers.. So I used Reflector to see what’s going on behind the scenes and apparently what is happening is that the RS integration stuff is using it’s local webservices to get a connection to the ReportServer. And then when the SharePoint is not accessible locally, the webservices cannot be contacted and thus there is no connection to the ReportServer. So the error is telling the truth.. in a way… :)