What client and ArcSDE geodatabases for SQL Server Express versions are compatible?
Because connections to the geodatabases on database servers are always direct connections, you must have a direct-connect driver on your client application that is the same version as the geodatabase.
ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Engine, and ArcGIS Server Workgroup at release 10 include backward-compatible direct-connect drivers so you can make direct connections from these clients to geodatabases that are at the 9.2 or 9.3 release.
There are also direct-connect drivers you can install separately to make direct connections in the following mixed-release configurations:
- A 9.2 Service Pack (SP) 5 or later service pack release client can connect to a 9.3 or 9.3.1 geodatabase. The direct-connect drivers for this type of connection can be downloaded from the ESRI support site.
- A 9.3 or 9.3.1 client can connect to a 9.2 geodatabase. The drivers necessary to make this type of connection are available on the 9.3 and 9.3.1 client installation media.
It is important to note that it is the drivers in the connecting client that determine the version of the geodatabase that gets created. If you have a mix of client releases at your organization, there is the potential to have different release geodatabases on the same database server.
The following scenarios are possible when using mixed client releases with database servers:
- A 9.2 SP5 or later service pack release client can connect to an ArcSDE database server that is licensed for ArcGIS Server 9.3 Workgroup and create a 9.2 geodatabase. Therefore, you will end up with a geodatabase that is at the 9.2 release and can use 9.2 functionality but is using a 9.3 license.
- The reverse is also true: a 9.3 client can connect to and create 9.3 geodatabases on a database server licensed for 9.2.
- A 10 client can create a 10 geodatabase on a database server that is licensed for 9.3 or 9.2.
- There is the potential for later release clients to upgrade the geodatabases created by earlier-release clients. That may or may not be acceptable for your workflow—you need to decide the rules your users must follow in regard to this functionality. As always, users should create a backup of the geodatabase before upgrading it.
See Direct connect compatibility between clients and ArcSDE geodatabases for general rules on interoperable connections to ArcSDE geodatabases. When reading this topic, keep in mind that database servers were introduced with the 9.2 release and that you cannot use an ArcSDE service to connect to geodatabases on a database server.