Adding a database server to ArcGIS for Desktop

You add a database server connection in the Catalog window in ArcMap or ArcCatalog if you need to perform administrative tasks on a Microsoft SQL Server Express instance or the geodatabases it contains.

A database server connection is a connection to a SQL Server Express instance that is set up to store geodatabases. Adding a database server creates a database server connection file (a .gds file) in your user folder and an icon in the Database Servers folder for that connection.

To add a database server, you must have permission to access the database server. See Adding users or groups to a database server for more information.

Just as with connections to any data source, connections to database servers must be created for each client who needs to manage database servers and their geodatabases.

When you first add a database server connection in the Catalog tree, you are automatically connected to the database server. If you leave the connection open when you close the Catalog window, you are automatically connected when you reopen it.

  1. Start ArcMap, open the Catalog window, then expand the Database Servers folder in the Catalog tree.
  2. Double-click Add Database Server.
  3. On the Add Database Server dialog box, provide the name of the database server. This is in the form <server_name>\<instance_name>, where the server name is the name of the server on which SQL Server Express is installed and the instance name is the name of the SQL Server Express instance.

    For example, if a database server is named SOPHIE\SQLEXPRESS, SOPHIE is the server name and SQLEXPRESS is the instance name.

    If you are unsure of the name to use, contact the administrator of the database server for this information.

  4. Click OK.

The server icon appears under Database Servers in the Catalog tree.

If you add the database server and the icon appears in the Catalog tree with a blank white square on it, the database server has been added but its status is unknown. Try double-clicking it to connect. If you are unable to connect, contact the administrator of that database server to find out if the SQL Server Express instance is running and connected to the network and what type of permission you have on that database server.

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