I have a MSSQL Server where my geodata is held. In the ArcGIS Docs, it says...

"To administer ArcSDE geodatabases for SQL Server Express, you can also connect to these geodatabases by first making a connection to a database server, then connecting to the geodatabase, as shown below."

But when I try it fails. Looking carefully again I notice that is applies to "SQL Server Express"....and not MSSQL Server. If I don´t have the express version of MSSQL does that mean I can´t create a database server connection? If I connect to an individual Database it works fine.

Thanks for any help,


3 Answers 3


Making a connection to a "Database Server" is only for ArcSDE Personal, and would not work for MSSQL (only SQL Server Express).

You need to make a "Database Connection" for MS SQL.

See: ESRI Forums


Question. Are you using ArcSDE over the top of SQL Server, or are you using the SQL Server Spatial Type with no ArcSDE?


That seems unlikely. ArcSDE can work with any version of SQL Server, and there is no fundamental difference between Express and the more fully featured versions of SQL Server.

That being said, my ESRI experience is primarily coding directly against ArcSDE using the C API, I am not an ArcCatalog user.

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