How To: Use an existing instance of SQL Server Express for ArcSDE Personal or Workgroup geodatabases


Instructions provided describe how to set up an existing instance of SQL Server Express 2005 SP1 installed to store ArcSDE Personal or ArcSDE Workgroup geodatabases with some configuration.

For example, Visual Studio installs SQL Server Express.


Custom configuration of the SQL Server Express instance is not supported for instances used as ArcSDE database servers. Also, note that databases created in SQL Server Express do not appear in ArcCatalog; only geodatabases created in ArcCatalog are displayed in the Catalog tree.

  1. Verify the version of SQL Server Express is SP1 by checking the full version number of SQL Server Express. Determine this by looking in the registry of the computer where the SQL Server Express instance is installed.

    A. Open the Registry Editor by navigating to Start > Run, type regedit and click OK.

    B. Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Microsoft SQL Server/[instance_name]/MSSQLServer/CurrentVersion. The SP1 version number is 9.0.2047. If a lower version is installed, upgrade to SP1 to use as a database server.
  2. Run the SQL Server Express service under the Built-in Local System account if used with ArcSDE Personal or Workgroup geodatabases. To confirm or change to this account:

    A. Start the SQL Server Configuration Manager.

    B. Right-click the SQL Server Express instance planned to be used as a database server, and click Properties.

    C. Select the Log On tab on the Properties dialog box and make sure the service is logging on as Local System. If it is not, select Local System from the Built-in account drop-down list and click OK. The service restarts under the new account.
  3. Start the SQL Server Browser service to allow remote connections. In the SQL Server Configuration manager, click SQL Server 2005 Services. Make sure the SQL Server Browser service in the services list is running. If it is not, right-click it and click Start.
  4. To enable an existing SQL Server Express instance to store ArcSDE Personal or ArcSDE Workgroup geodatabases, run either the ArcSDESqlExpressPersonal.exe that comes with ArcGIS Desktop at the ArcEditor and ArcInfo license level or the ArcSDESqlExpressWorkGroup.exe that comes with ArcGIS Server Workgroup Edition.

    On the Installation Options dialog box, check or select ArcSDE Personal Edition Post Installation or ArcSDE Workgroup Edition Post Installation, uncheck or deselect Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition and then click Install. Follow the directions in the ArcSDE Personal or ArcSDE Workgroup installation guide to complete the post installation setup.

Last Published: 5/5/2016

Article ID: 000009324

Software: ArcGIS Image Server 9.3.1, 9.3, 9.2