Is there any way to create an ArcSDE SQL Server 2008 geodatabase without :

  1. SDE post-installation execution on the server
  2. having sde service running on the server

and using :

  1. execution of some DDL scripts to create database on the SQLServer
  2. execution of "sdelayer -o register" command to register some tables (containing Geometry type fields) as feature class.

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can do this (although I haven't done it personally, so this is partial speculation).

You will need the SDE command line tools installed somewhere, either on your server or on a machine that can reach it over the network. The command you will need first is sdesetup:

 sdesetup -o install -d SQLSERVER
  [-H <sde_directory>] [-u <ArcSDE_admin_user>] [-p <ArcSDE_admin_password>]
  [-D <database_name>] [-s <datasource>] 
  [-i {<master_geodatabase_service>[:<user_schema>]|:sde]}
  [-l <key>] [-N] [-q]

You can then connect to your SDE repository using Direct Connect (rather than the SDE service on port 5151). Note that you will still need a valid ArcSDE product key in your database.

There may also be issues with ArcSDE and SQL Server 2008 R2? I'm not sure on those, so perhaps someone else has some input.

  • Thank you very much mwalker,it works well to create database in sqlserver without post_installation,but as you forcast,now I have an issue with registering my tables as featureclasses using sdelayer command.I use 9.2,may this problem is because SDE 9.2 doesn't support GEOMETRY field of SQLServer 2008?should I change to 9.3 or higher ?
    – Reza
    Mar 9, 2011 at 18:44
  • Yes, get to 9.3 or 10 ASAP. It will have better support for built-in geometry types and the Direct Connect will also work better.
    – mwalker
    Mar 9, 2011 at 21:22

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