Error: Connection was attempted with an older version of SQL Server client communications software that is not compatible with the SQL Server database server

Error Message

Connecting from ArcGIS Desktop or another ArcGIS client to an enterprise geodatabase hosted on SQL Server returns the following error message:

"Connection was attempted with an older version of SQL Server client communications software that is not compatible with the SQL Server database server."

Cause

ArcGIS enforces the rule that the database client software that manages communication between the application and SQL Server is at least as new as the SQL Server instance to which it is connecting. This eliminates a group of problems that arise when the database client software does not understand new data types introduced in the newer databases. This also supports Microsoft’s recommendation in this regard.

The following rules now apply:

• SQL Server Native Client software is required to connect to SQL Server 2012 or earlier geodatabases.

• The SQL Server Native Client must be the same version, or a newer version than the version of SQL Server you are connecting to.

• A connection to a Windows Azure SQL Database requires the Microsoft ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server. This driver can also be used to connect to any 10.2.x geodatabase on SQL Server 2008, 2008R2 or 2012.

• The SQL Server Native Client software must be installed on any Windows machine from which a connection is made. This includes on ArcSDE servers to support an application server connection.

Solution or Workaround

Install the appropriate SQL Server client communication software.

Both the Microsoft ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server and the SQL Server Native Client are available for download from Microsoft.