Installing and configuring SQL Server Express

The production databases need to reside in SQL Server Express. This allows the implement and populate processes of the Nautical Solution to function.

To use ArcSDE with ArcGIS Desktop, you need to install an instance of SQL Server Express, then enable it to store ArcSDE geodatabases.

If you already have an instance of SQL Server Express with Advanced Services installed that you want to use, uncheck the Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition option checked on the ArcSDE for SQL Server Express Installation Options dialog box and skip to Enabling SQL Server Express to store geodatabases.

If you are not an administrator of the machine, your login needs to be added to the SQL Server Express administrator role. Once you enable SQL Server Express to store geodatabases, open ArcCatalog, connect to the local database server, right-click on the server, then choose Permissions to verify that you are listed with administrator privileges.

Follow these steps to install SQL Server Express on your computer using the executable on the ArcGIS Server Workgroup, ArcGIS Desktop, or ArcGIS Engine installation media.

  1. Log in to the computer as a user with administrative privileges.
  2. Make sure you have Microsoft Windows Installer 4.5, .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack (SP) 1, and Windows Powershell 1.0 or 2.0 on the computer. If you do not, you must obtain and install them from the Microsoft site before you can install SQL Server 2008 Express. Some of these applications require you restart your computer after installing them.
  3. Close all applications on your computer.
  4. Access the installation media.
    • If you have an ISO file, use an ISO extractor to access the installation files and run the ESRI.exe.
    • If you have an ArcGIS Server Workgroup, ArcGIS Desktop, or ArcGIS Engine DVD insert it to the appropriate drive and run the ESRI.exe.

    The Installation Options dialog box opens.

  5. Click Setup next to ArcSDE for Microsoft SQL Server Express to start the installation wizard.
  6. Leave the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express Edition option checked on the ArcSDE for SQL Server Express Installation Options dialog box and click Install.
  7. Click Installation on the left pane of the SQL Server Installation Center window, then click New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation.

    SQL Server installation center

    The setup checks your computer to make sure it meets the minimum system requirements necessary to install SQL Server 2008 Express.

  8. Click OK when the check is finished.
  9. Install the setup support files.

    If you do not have the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 installed, which is required by SQL Server 2008 Express, the setup will close.

  10. Click Next to proceed to the next dialog box.
  11. Choose the Perform a new installation of SQL Server 2008. option.

    New installation of SQL Server Express 2008

  12. Click Next.
  13. You are installing the Express edition, so choose the Specify a free edition option on the Product Key dialog box.
  14. Accept the Microsoft license agreement and click Next.

    If you do not accept, the installation terminates.

  15. On the Feature Selection dialog box, be sure that the Database Engine Services and Full-Text Search check boxes are checked.

    Feature Selection for SQL Server 2008 Express

  16. On the Instance Configuration dialog box, click the Named instance option.
  17. The default name is SQLExpress. Keep the default name.

    The instance name cannot exceed 16 characters, must start with a letter, cannot contain spaces or special characters, and must not duplicate an existing instance name.

  18. You can accept the default location to create the instance or browse to a different location.

    SQL Server 2008 Express instance configuration

  19. Click Next to continue.

    The installation checks to make sure you have enough disk space in the location you specified for the SQL Server Express instance.

  20. Click Next to continue.
  21. On the Server Configuration dialog box, specify accounts to run the Database Engine and Full-Text Search services.

    You should use different accounts for each one. The SQL Server Browser is already set to an account for you. See the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 books online for information on accounts to use for running services. This topic can help you get started: Reviewing Windows Permissions for SQL Server Services.


    For SQL Server Database Engine service and SQL Full-text Filter Daemon Launcher service, a local user or domain user account is recommended. The account must have Full Control permissions over any folders where data or log files (.mdf, .ndf, .ldf) will reside. For the SQL Server Browser service, a Local System Account should be used as the account name. Change SQL Server browser's startup type to Automatic.

    SQL Server 2008 Express Server Configuration

  22. Click the Collation tab and change the Database Engine language before proceeding if you need to choose a different collation.

    The SQL Server Express instance uses the default collation of the computer on which it is installed. Be sure to use a case-insensitive collation; case-sensitive collations are not supported with ArcGIS.

  23. Click Next.

    The Database Engine Configuration dialog box appears.

  24. Choose Windows authentication mode.

    This is the only authentication mode supported for use with the geodatabase accessed through the Database Servers node in ArcCatalog.

  25. Click Add current user to add an administrative user for the SQL Server Express instance.

    You cannot proceed with the installation if you do not add an administrative user.

  26. Click the Data Directories tab and specify the locations for your SQL Server Express files or accept the defaults.
  27. Click Next.

    The Error and Usage Reporting dialog box appears.

  28. Optionally, choose to send information to Microsoft.
  29. Click Next.

    The next dialog box checks to make sure all installation rules are met.

  30. Click Next to proceed.
  31. Review the summary of your SQL Server Express installation and click Install to perform the SQL Server Express installation.
  32. When the installation completes successfully, click Next, then Close to exit the Microsoft SQL Server installation wizard.