Customizing SSRS Sender Address

In SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), you can configure the sender address for email subscriptions at the instance level. This means that every email sent from your SSRS server will come from the same address. (On each subscription, you can optionally supply a Reply-To address, which allows users to reply to the email directly, and respond to the right person…but that’s not why we’re here.)

Reconciling business requirements and tech requirements doesn’t have to be a fight.

So, who should be the sender on the emails?

What the DBA wants

My priorities are around operations, support, etc. When something breaks, or someone complains they are getting a report “From nowhere,” I’m the guy that gets called in to help. I want to know exactly what server is sending the report. I don’t have control over the contents of the email message, so I can’t ensure that the sending server’s name is included in the body of the email.

When I configure DB Mail or SSRS email, I will always configure the sender address with something that identifies the specific server that is sending the email. My preference is that the sender address is configured as ServerName@domain.com (either a physical server name like DEMO-SSRS01@am2.co or a common name like AM2Reports01@am2.co).

What the business wants

The business wants the sending email address to be pretty. They want to identify the application, project, company, or… who knows what. The business wants anything but the server name. They might want it to come from NoReply@domain.com or CRM@domain.com or Reports@domain.com or…who knows what.

The problem with these more generic sender addresses is that they don’t help me troubleshoot. Is CRM@domain.com coming from SSRS or the application server? Which SSRS server is Reports@domain.com coming from? I don’t want to check 10 SSRS servers to figure out which one sent a report.

The best of both worlds

This might not be the key to world peace, but it will make me happy, and it will make the business happy.

Instead of just entering an email address, you can enter a display name AND an email address into the “Sender Address” box, using the format: Display Name <Server@domain.com>

This will show up in your email client the same way emails from people do: the Display name will be the primary thing end-users see (the business is happy!), but the Server@domain.com address will be readily identifiable as well (I’m happy!).

B1C0

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