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Problem: Connections from ArcGIS 10.4.1 or ArcGIS Pro 1.3 to SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 fail

Description

After updating the SQL Server client to ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server from ODBC 11 or an earlier version of the SQL Server Native client, connections from ArcGIS 10.4.1 or ArcGIS Pro 1.3 to a SQL Server 2008 or 2008R2 instance fail with an error.

Error:
Failed to connect to specified DBMS instance.

(Release of Geodatabase is either invalid or out of Date)
Error logs or database management system (DBMS) traces may identify an additional error:
[Microsoft][ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server][SQL Server]Could not find stored procedure 'sp_describe_first_result_set'

Cause

ArcGIS 10.4.1 and ArcGIS Pro 1.3 add support for the Microsoft ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server. This driver is required for connections to SQL Server 2016. While Microsoft attempts to make all its client drivers backward compatible to older releases, it is not guaranteed for releases that are in extended support, such as SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2.

The Microsoft ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server has an equivalency bug and is not fully compatible with SQL Server 2008. A case has been opened with Microsoft and the issue has already been identified by other users: Attempt to use BCP 2016 to export from SQL 2008 or earlier fails with obscure error message.

Solution or Workaround

Beginning with ArcGIS 10.4 and ArcGIS Pro 1.2, connections to geodatabases on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 are no longer supported. This is irrespective of the version of the geodatabase.
 
Connections to older, unsupported DBMS releases are not blocked by ArcGIS software. However, there is no guarantee of functionality in an unsupported configuration. The solution to any issues that are specific to an unsupported DBMS release is to upgrade to a supported release.
 
To operate in a supported configuration, SQL Server must be upgraded to a supported release. 

The Microsoft SQL Server database requirements for ArcGIS products are available at the following links: If working in a mixed environment that connects to geodatabases on older and newer releases of SQL Server, uninstall the ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server and replace it with the ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server. This driver can connect to SQL Server 2016 and supports all ArcGIS operations. However, Microsoft client drivers are not forward compatible. Microsoft does not officially support SQL Server 2016 with older clients such as the ODBC Driver 11 or SQL Server Native Client.