I am trying to populate a folder with ArcSDE database connection files for all the databases within a server instance. I need to be able to do this for several of our servers.

Although I know within SQL Server how to get a list of DB names from the sys.databases table, using the arcpy function CreateDatabaseConnection I cannot specify "sys" or "master" to make the connection. Therefore, I need to know the name of a database currently in the server. I am not sure how to make the check without hard-coding a name.

import arcpy
arcpy.env.overwriteOutput = True

#Input the location where the database connection files will be stored
connectionLocation = "F:/FolderName"

#Get the list of servers
arcpy.CreateDatabaseConnection_management(out_folder_path= arcpy.env.scratchFolder,out_name= "GIS_USERCONFIG" ,database_platform="SQL_SERVER",\
                                          instance = "XXXXXXX" ,account_authentication="DATABASE_AUTH",username="user",password="password",\
                                          save_user_pass="SAVE_USERNAME",database= "GIS_USERCONFIG",schema="#",version_type="TRANSACTIONAL",version="dbo.DEFAULT",date="#")
sdeConn = arcpy.ArcSDESQLExecute(arcpy.env.scratchFolder + "/GIS_USERCONFIG.sde")
serverListSQL = sdeConn.execute("Select name from userservers")
serverList = []
for i in range(0,len(serverListSQL)):

#Make a folder for each server instance and build the connection files for all DBs in the server instance
for server in serverList:
    folder = connectionLocation + "/" + server
    if arcpy.Exists(folder):
        print server + " folder already created"
            arcpy.CreateFolder_management(connectionLocation, server)
            print "Created Folder " + server
            print "failed to create folder " + server

    arcpy.CreateDatabaseConnection_management(out_folder_path= arcpy.env.scratchFolder,out_name= server ,database_platform="SQL_SERVER",\
                                          instance = server ,account_authentication="OPERATING_SYSTEM_AUTH",\
                                          database= "master",schema="#",version_type="TRANSACTIONAL",version="dbo.DEFAULT",date="#")
    sdeConn = arcpy.ArcSDESQLExecute(arcpy.env.scratchFolder + "/" + server + ".sde")
    dbListSQL = sdeConn.execute("Select name from sys.databases")
    dbList = []
    for i in range(0,len(serverListSQL)):
    for db in dbList:
        arcpy.CreateDatabaseConnection_management(out_folder_path= folder ,out_name= db,database_platform="SQL_SERVER",\
                                          instance = server ,account_authentication="OPERATING_SYSTEM_AUTH",\
                                          database= db,schema="#",version_type="TRANSACTIONAL",version="dbo.DEFAULT",date="#")

Basically my issue is with the 2nd call for the function "CreateDatabaseConnection_management" since it needs a database that exists in the database (and I could not use "master or sys"). If you open this as a tool in arcmap, the input is a drop-down box that populates choices based on the databases in the chosen server instance. Is there a way to do this in the code?

1 Answer 1


You may use ListWorkspaces method (once you make the connection) to list the existing databases within SDE:

Lists all of the workspaces within the set workspace. Search conditions can be specified for the workspace name and workspace type to limit the list that is returned.

workspaces = arcpy.ListWorkspaces("*", "SDE")
    for workspace in workspaces:
        print workspace

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