I created an enterprise geodatabase in SQL Server 2008 R2 with ArcCatalog (10.2). It was connected via an sde file in ArcCatalog then.

Then I had to rename the database from SQL Server Management Studio.

After I did renaming the sde file no longer worked. The message is:

Failed to connect the specified server. Do you want to continue? Operation Failed

I am sure the connection properties are correct as I only rename the database, and the Database I selected to connect is the new name.

Any idea?

  • 4
    Renaming of databases is not supported. ArcGIS will not function in that database until it the original name is restored. Then you can make a new database and copy/paste to it.
    – Vince
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 0:05
  • That's correct @Vince. There are so many places where the name of the database is registered you can't possibly change them all. You MUST change the name back to what it was, create a new database and then use ArcCatalog to copy the data contained - then delete the old database. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 0:11
  • 3
    Thanks for both of your comments. That is what I was guessing. I restored the original name and copied all data to the new database.
    – alextc
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 0:15
  • 1
    Consider answering your own question with your experience alextc. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 0:49

2 Answers 2


@Vince already answered this in the comments above, but just in case someone else stumbles across this issue here is the documentation link from the latest version of ArcGIS 10.3.x why one should not rename a SQL Server database that contains a geodatabase:

Methods to move a geodatabase in SQL Server


No matter which of the methods you use to move your SQL Server database, you cannot rename the database. When you restore a database, for example, you are given the opportunity to restore it with a different name. Don't do this with a geodatabase; you won't be able to connect to it.

All object names in the geodatabase system tables are fully qualified with the database name. In addition, many stored procedures use a three-part naming syntax in their code, which follows the format "database.owner.object". If the database name changes, you will not be able to execute these procedures.

Here's some additional explanation from the Esri Australia team regarding how tempting it is to rename a SQL Server geodatabase to a new naming convention when restoring to a new instance, and why it should not be done:

FAQ: Can you rename the ArcSDE geodatabase in SQL Server?



Here is a blog that summarizes this feature being implemented in the latest release. https://www.esri.com/arcgis-blog/products/arcgis-pro/data-management/restoring-sql-server-databases-with-a-new-name/

  • Link-only answers are likely to be deleted. Please Edit the Answer to summarize the linked document, as it will eventually go stale.
    – Vince
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 3:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.