Accessing SQL 2008 Express


So we've had SP2010 Beta 2 installed for about a week now, and it's time to get our site upgrade into it again.  We've got a seminar on web content management (WCM) in SharePoint 2010 next week, and having an upgraded version of our site and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (HSFO) done for the presentation is a big part of it.

So it was time to look back on my previous blog posts on upgrading to SP2010, and figure out how to do it again.  For those of you that read my SharePoint 2010 Upgrade post back in October, you'll know that I'm a big fan of the content database migration approach.

To start with, I needed to get access to the SQL 2008 Express installation on the standalone installation that we did for Beta 2.  Now I know that we should do a full farm installation, but to start with this seemed easier.  However there are no management tools for SQL installed with SQL Express, so I had some challenges.

In my last blog I mentioned working through this, but of course I didn't blog about, and I forgot in the intervening month.  There are a couple of key steps to keep in mind.

  1. Open the SQL Server Configuration Manager from the Start menu
  2. You need to enable the TCP/IP protocol.  Expand the SQL Server network configuration, and double-click TCP/IP
  3. Set the Enabled to Yes
  4. Go to the IP Addresses tab, and make sure the external IP address is also enabled and active
  5. When you click OK, it will prompt you that the service needs to be restarted for the changes to take effect
  6. Select the SQL Server Services, and restart the SQL Server instance
  7. You also need to start the SQL Server Browser service
  8. Double-click it, and go to the Service tab
  9. Change the Start mode to Automatic
  10. Click OK, and then start the SQL Server Browser service
  11. Chances are the Windows Firewall service will be blocking remote connections.  You can either add an exception for SQL Server, or just turn off the firewall service.  I know I shouldn't have, but I just turned the firewall off to get things going.  If this was a real system I would have then gone back and tightened it down once I had confirmed it working
  12. From there you should be good to connect from a remote SQL Server Management Studio on a SQL 2008 instance

Once that was done I was good to repeat my process of backing up the SQL content database from our MOSS 2007 server and restoring to the new SP2010 box.  You can read more about that at SharePoint 2010 Upgrade Beta 2.

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