Installing ArcSDE 10.1 and setting up a geodatabase in SQL Server

The purpose of this blog is to consolidate the resources for Installing ArcSDE 10.1 and setting up a geodatabase in SQL Server, into one guideline for ease of use.

System requirements
Prior to installing, please review the relational database management systems database requirements:
Microsoft SQL Server Database Requirements for ArcGIS 10.1

Install and configure SQL Server
Protocol at your site will determine if the administrator or another staff member, such as an information systems technician, will do this. See your SQL Server documentation for instructions.
• Configure the instance to accept remote connections.
• Decide whether a dbo user or a user named sde will own the geodatabase.
• If you will be creating the geodatabase from a remote computer (to the SQL Server instance), install the SQL Server Native client on that computer.

Set up ArcSDE
1. Navigate to the ArcSDE 10.1 (Windows) media and run ESRI.exe.

2. Click on the Setup link of the specific database platform to install ArcSDE with.
3. If you have any questions about the items listed on the setup menu, additional information regarding an item can be found via the Install Guide.

Authorize ArcSDE
• Each enterprise geodatabase must be authorized with an ArcGIS Server Enterprise Edition authorization file. You must specify a valid authorization file when the geodatabase is created. If you do not already have an authorization file (*.ecp), you can obtain one by going to the ArcSDE and ArcIMS Product Authorization Form to generate your Esri authorization file.
• Once you have an authorization file, you can create a geodatabase or update the authorization file in an existing geodatabase.
• To authorize the geodatabase when it is being created, specify the authorization file location when you run either the Create Enterprise Geodatabase or Enable Enterprise Geodatabase geoprocessing tool or Python script.
• If you already created your geodatabase and need to reauthorize it, run the sdesetup command with the update_key operation.

NOTE: At ArcGIS 10.1, there is no ArcSDE Post Installation wizard, and the installation operation is no longer supported with the sdesetup command. The following steps will create a database and geodatabase in SQL Server:

Create a database and geodatabase in SQL Server
Create a database and geodatabase by doing one of the following:
• Run the Create Enterprise Geodatabase geoprocessing tool from ArcGIS Desktop (Standard or Advanced).
• Run a Python script from a computer running ArcGIS Desktop (Standard or Advanced), ArcGIS Engine Runtime with the Geodatabase update extension, or ArcGIS for Server Enterprise Standard or Advanced.

You can use the Create Enterprise Geodatabase geoprocessing tool in ArcGIS for Desktop to do the following in a Microsoft SQL Server instance:
• Create a database (500MB) and log file (125MB) in the default SQL Server location.
• If necessary, create an sde login, database user, and schema, and grant the user privileges to create a geodatabase and disconnect users from the SQL Server instance.
• Create a geodatabase in the database.

The following instructions explain how to create a geodatabase using the Create Enterprise Geodatabase tool. Alternatively, you could run a Python script or enable geodatabase functionality in a preconfigured SQL Server database.

1. Start ArcMap or ArcCatalog.
2. Open the Create Enterprise Geodatabase tool.
You can search for or browse to this tool, which is located in the Geodatabase Administration toolset of the Data Management toolbox.

3. Choose SQL Server from the Database Platform drop-down list.
4. Type the name of the SQL Server instance to which you will connect in the Instance text box.
5. In the Database text box, type a name for the database where you want to store the geodatabase.
If a database with that name does not already exist in the SQL Server instance, it will be created. If it already exists, the existing database you specify will be used to store the geodatabase.
6. Connect to SQL Server as a system administrator. This can be done with either an operating system-authenticated login that is a member of the sysadmin fixed server role in SQL Server or by typing a database user name and password for a sysadmin user.
• To log in with a sysadmin operating system-authenticated login, check Operating System Authentication. You must be logged in to Windows with the correct login to use this option.
• To log in as sysadmin, type the sysadmin user name in the Database Administrator text box and the corresponding password in the Database Administrator Password text box.
7. Choose which geodatabase administrator will own the geodatabase.
• If you want the user named sde to be the geodatabase administrator and the geodatabase to be stored in an sde schema, check Sde Owned Schema.
• If you want the dbo user to be the geodatabase administrator and the geodatabase to be stored in the dbo schema, uncheck Sde Owned Schema.

If you choose an sde-owned schema, the Geodatabase Administrator text box will be prepopulated with sde. If a user with that name does not already exist, the user and its corresponding schema will be created, and the user will be granted the privileges required to create a geodatabase.
If you are using database authentication and a dbo schema to store the geodatabase, type the name of a user who is dbo in the SQL Server instance in the Geodatabase Administrator text box.
If you are using operating system authentication to connect to the database, your current login must be in the SQL Server sysadmin fixed server role to create a dbo-schema geodatabase.

8. Type a password for the geodatabase administrator in the Geodatabase Administrator Password text box.
If the geodatabase administrator you specified already exists in the database, be sure to type the correct password for the existing user; this tool will not change the password.

9. To specify an Authorization File, browse to and choose the keycodes file that was created when you authorized ArcGIS for Server Enterprise.
This file is written to \\Program Files\ESRI\License\sysgen folder on Windows servers. If you have not already done so, authorize ArcGIS for Server now to create this file.

10. Click OK to run the tool.

A database and log file is created in the default SQL Server location if you did not specify an existing database. A geodatabase is created in the database. If you chose an sde-schema geodatabase, a SQL Server-authenticated sde login, database user, and schema are created.

Next, in ArcGIS for Desktop, open the Database Connection dialog box, choose the database you want to connect to, and then provide connection information. The following is an example of connecting to a SQL Server database:

Choose SQL Server from the Database Platform drop-down list to connect to a database in Microsoft SQL Server or Windows Azure SQL Database, or connect directly to a geodatabase in a SQL Server database; and enter the credentials as per the Create Enterprise Geodatabase geoprocessing tool.

Alternatively, you can create a database manually, and then run the Enable Enterprise Geodatabase geoprocessing tool. If you want to create a dbo-schema geodatabase, run the Enable Enterprise Geodatabase tool as a user who is dbo in the database. If you want to create an sde-schema geodatabase, you must create the sde login, user, and schema, and then run the Enable Enterprise Geodatabase tool as the sde user.

Enabling geodatabase functionality in an existing SQL Server database
The following are the steps you take to enable a dbo-schema geodatabase in an existing SQL Server database using the Enable Enterprise Geodatabase tool, which can be accessed from a database connection in the Catalog tree.

1. Start ArcMap or ArcCatalog.
2. Create a database connection to the SQL Server database from the Catalog tree, connecting as a user who is dbo (in the sysadmin fixed server role) in the SQL Server instance.
If connecting as a database authenticated user, be sure to save the user’s password in the Database Connection dialog box.
3. Right-click the database connection and click Enable Geodatabase.
The Enable Enterprise Geodatabase tool opens.

4. Add the database connection file for your SQL Server database to the Input Database text box.
5. Browse to an Authorization File.
6. Click OK to run the tool.

A geodatabase is created in the database. The geodatabase tables are stored in the dbo schema in the database.

A log file for the geodatabase creation (GDBCreateGeodatabase.log) is written to the directory specified for your %TEMP% variable on the computer where the tool is run. If you have any problems running the tool, check this log file to troubleshoot the problem.

Tania T.

15 thoughts on “Installing ArcSDE 10.1 and setting up a geodatabase in SQL Server

    1. mahmoud

      Dear Tania ;

      Our project have the following Specifications:

      Server hardware : Dell per710 ,2.8 (12 CPUs), 8G RAM, 2T HDs

      server software : Win Server 2008 Enterprise R2 SP1 64-bit
      ArcGIS Desktop 10.1 (Arc Info)
      ArcGIS Server 10.1 (Enterprise)
      Oracle Database Standard Edition 11g

      PCs hardware : Dell Cori7,4G RAM,500HD

      PCs software : Win7 Professional SP1 64-bit
      ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 (Arc View)

      we want to install this sources on the server machine and connect only
      two terminal PCs

      i ask you about the Possibility of supporting this job remotly and the
      cost for doing this job

      remark : i do all this installation but i have a problem when traying
      to connect the Geodatabase or publishing a service
      so i need support PLZ replay urgently

  1. Robin

    I am the SA and owner of our Enterprise geodatabase. I need to modify (temporarily) the schema of the geodatabase by deleting a field in one feature class. This field will be reacreated automatically via a geoprocessing tool and populated with data from the GP session.

    Do I have to create a version of the feature class before I can modify the schema (e.g., delete a field?)

    1. Tania T Post author

      Hi Robin, No, you do not need to create a version in order to delete a field. Before deleting the field (via ArcMap/Catalog), ensure there are no other users connected, else it will place a lock on the data – and you will not be able to delete the field.

  2. Nadir

    Dear Tania,

    I have an ArcSDE 10.0 geodatabase with features in it. I uninstalled ArcSDE 10 and installed ArcSDE 10.1.
    Do I need to use Enable Enterprise Geodatabase tool to register my old SDE geodatabase to version 10.1 without loosing the data inside it?
    If else! what to use?


  3. Cara

    I for one feel this was a wonderful post. There might have been a couple of additional information, yes, but what was said was said
    amazingly and I couldn’t agree more. Any further posts on this niche forthcoming? Lets hope so.

  4. Bill

    Hi Tanja,
    How to reauthorize ArcSDEwith sdesetup command in SQL Server NOT default instance?
    Command “sdesetup -o update_key -d SQLSERVER -D gisdata…” authorises DB in default instance.
    Command “sdesetup -o update_key -d SQLSERVER,DBSRV\INSTNAME -D gisdata…” generates error.

    1. Tania T Post author

      Hi Bill

      sdesetup -o update_key -d SQLSERVER -D gisdata -s DBSRV\INSTNAME -l c:\temp\license.ecp


  5. Alp

    Hi, I have Arcgis server 10.1 sp1 and ms sql server 2008R2 installed on Windows 8 64bit. When I try “create enterprise geodatabase” it ends up with;

    Failure to access the DBMS server
    Failed to execute (CreateEnterpriseGeodatabase).

    Have any idea what can be wrong ?

  6. Ravi


    While we are selecting Enable Geodatabase and give the path of authorization file, we get following error: —

    “See the setup log in the following location for additional error information:
    Could not create geodatabase tables and stored procedures.
    Failed to execute (EnableEnterpriseGeodatabase).”

    Can you please let us know what could be the reason. and how can we resolve it.



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