The release of Management Reporter brought several advantages over FRx; x64 compatibility, replacement of the Access database with SQL Server and a modern client among them. However, one of the downsides is that Management Reporter requires a domain to be available for both the installation and running.

Where FRx could be run on any PC or laptop regardless of the operating system, Management Reporter can only be run on a server OS. This means that the Business Development Managers, and I, need either a laptop with Windows Server 2008, or better the R2 version, installed or we need a VM with the same. To make everyday life easier I opted for the latter as I can install it once and then copy the VM between machines.

I am a Microsoft Dynamics GP consultant by training, certification and experience but I don’t have a huge amount of experience with Active Directory. I am the most knowledgeable here about installing GP and Management Reporter though, so it falls to me to do the setup of the demo systems and I figured I might as well do the full monty rather than getting someone else to install the operating system and then passing it back to me.

To this end I needed to learn how to install and configure Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS) and I thought it best to document here for anyone else interested and also for my own future reference.

The first step in configuring ADDS is to configure the network connection with a static IP address;

Local Connection Area Status

Click the Properties button to open the Local Connection Area Properties window then select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties;

Local Connection Area Properties

Change the radio button to Use the following IP address. In the case of the demo system I was configuring this on the IP address is 192.168.1.254, the Subnet mask 255.255.55.0 and the Default Gateway 192.168.1.1.

In the Preferred DNS Server enter either the machines IP (in my case 192.168.1.254) or the loopback address (127.0.0.1) and in the Alternative IP server enter one of the DNS servers supplied by your ISP or an alternative DNS (I’ve used an OpenDNS server; 208.67.222.222);

Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties

Once saved away the next stage is to start the install of ADDS. This can be done by adding roles or you can take a shortcut by launching a Run prompt (Windows Start menu >> Run) and typing dcpromo to launch the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard;

Run dcpromo

One the command has been executed Windows will check if the ADDS binaries have already been installed;

Checking if Active Directory Domain Services binaries are installed...

Because this was a fresh installation of Windows, the binaries were not present and so will be installed automatically;

Active Directory Domain Services binaries are being installed. Please wait. The Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard will open automatically once the binaries have been installed.

Once completed the first window of the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard will appear giving a choce of advanced or standard mode. In this case I’m going for the standard option;

Welcome to the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard

You’ll see a message about OS compatibility which I’d suggest reading and then clicking Next;

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard - Operating System Compatibility

This is a stand alone demo system so for the Deployment Configuration we need to go for the Create a new domain in a new forest option;

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard - Choose A Deployment Configuration

Enter the fully qualified domain name. I opted to base this system off azurecurve|Ramblings of a Dynamics GP Consultant and entered azurecurve.co.uk;

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard - Name the Forest Root Domain

The wizard check if the forest name is already in use;

Checking whether the new forest name is already in ue...

And will then check if the NetBIOS name is okay;

Verify the NetBIOS name...

The next stage is to pick the Forest Functional Level which, as this is a Windows Server 2008 R2 I selected the Windows Server 2008 forest functional level;

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard -  Set Forest Functional Name

The DNS configuration will be checked;

Examing DNS configuration...

The only additional Domain Controller option that is available, and should be taken, is DNS Server;

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard - Additional Domain Controller Options

The DNS configuration will again be checked;

Enbling DNS configuration

When you see the below message, click Yes;

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard - A delegation for this DNS server cannot be created because the authoritative parent zone cannot be found or it does not run Windows DNS server. If you are integrating with an existing DNS infrastructure, you should manually create a delegation to this DNS server if the parent zone to ensure reliable name resolution from outside the domain azurecurve.co.uk. Otherwise no action is required. Do you want to continue?

Next is a prompt for the location of the Database, Log Files and SYSVOL which I left at the default options;

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard - Location for Database, Log Files, and SYSVOL

Next a Directory Services Restore Mode Administration password is required;

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard - Directory Services Restore Mode Administrator Password

Next check the summary of the options selected and click next if happy;

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard - Summary

The installation process will run through and configure various options;

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard - Configuration Processes

Once installation is complete a confirmation dialog will be produced;

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard - Completing the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard

Once ADDS has been installed I installed SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 and Management Reporter 2.

Please note the above explains how to install Active Directory Domain Services on a test/demo system and should not be used as a guide for installing a production system as there may be issues which have not been covered above which are critically important; I am a Microsoft Dynamics GP expert (if I may be so presumptuous to claim) but I am not an expert with Active Directory.