Jon Garrido Martin GIS Developer

GIS Developer Freelance

Remote access to ESRI SDE Geodatabases

By jongarrido | September 4, 2015 | 0 Comment



This post is dedicated to my fellow students at ESRI’s Master’s on GIS. I hope you like it.

The main point of the post is to explain how to make a SDE geodatabase available with remote connections.  To this purpose, we need to configure the network environment and to create the appropriate users.

Using: MS Sql Express edition 2008 R2 and ArcGis for Desktop 10.0


1 – Configuring the network environment.

This section has two steps. First, we must check that Sql Express server and client can accept TCP connections. Secondly, we have to add appropriate firewall rules to allow Sql Express server to access the network.

1.1- Check TCP connections.

To do this, we need to access the Computer manager (start/Computer and right click: Manage):

Then we go to Services/SQL Configuration Manager and we check that the TCP protocol is enabled in:

  • SQL Server Network configuration/Protocols for [Our Instance] (fx. SQLEXPRESS)
  • SQL Native Client 10.0 Configuration/Client Protocols


En este paso que acabamos de realizar, los protocolos los tendremos enabled por defecto dependiendo de la instalación que hayamos hecho, pero en todo caso hay que comprobarlo… Esta configuración podría ser mucho mas compleja, podríamos especificar, por motivos de seguridad que la instancia se ejecutara solo en un determiando puerto o incluso en un puerto con nombre (named pipe)…. pero mejor lo dejamos así.

1.2- Firewall rules.

Nos queda la parte de abrir los puertos del firewall. Para esto vamos a la configuración avanzada del mismo, (en cuanto escribimos “fire”en la ventanita de búsqueda de Inicio nos aparece…). Recordad que tenemos que crear 2 reglas, una para el programa correspondiente a nuestra instancia, se llama sqlexpress.exe y otra para el programa SQLBrowser.


Now we have to open the firewall ports. In order to do this, we go to the advanced settings of the firewall (just write “fire” in the Start menu, in the search window…). We will have to create two rules, one for the program for our instance, that is called sqlexpress.exe, and one for the program SQLBrowser.


  • For the first one, we have to:
    •  Add a new inboud rule for a PROGRAM:



C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.SQLEXPRESS\MSSQL\Binn\sqlservr.exe

Be careful here, the path to the sqlserver.exe is in “Program Files”, not in the folder “Program Files (86)”.

  • In the next window, we select “allow connections”.
  • Next, we check Domain Private and Public.



  • Finally, we reference the rule with a name.

For the sqlbrowser.exe we have to take the same steps. In this case, the default path to the program is in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Shared\sqlbrowser.exe

Notice that the folder is now Program Files (x86)

That’s all. Let’s create the appropriate user now.


2-– Appropiate users

We have two ways to create appropiate users. We can use Windows users or SQL users.

2.1 Windows Users.

We have to create a Windows user in the hardware where the Sql server is running that has the same name and password as the remote user we want to use for the remote connection. To do this:

  • We access the computer manager (in the same way that before).
  • Next, click on groups and users


  • Create a new user (right click)
  • Set name and password (the same as in the remote hardware)

Before we can  access the database from a remote equipment we must grant the user permission into the database.

In the ArcCatalog window:

  • Create a new Database Server connection.
  • Right click on our connection choose “permissions”…
  • Add the new user and establish the permission level.

We’ve got it!!!


2.2 SQL users.

We can’t create SQL users from ArcGIS 10.0. To do that, we need the SQL Server Managment Studio program.

We have to do two things for this: allow SQL instance to accept Windows and SQL users (not only Windows users), and create the sql user of your preference.

First, we access the SQL Server Management.

  • Right clicking on the instance we access properties / security.  Check here the option “SQL Server and Windows Authentication mode”. Press Ok.


To create the new users.

  • In the Security folder,  in the Logins subfolder, right click and… new login.


    • Select SQL Server user type and assign  a name and a password. Uncheck the option  “User must change the password at next login”.


    • In the Server Role tab we must grant the users the appropiate permissions.
    • Press Ok.


Ya lo tenemos!!!

We’ve got it!

Feel free to contact me for any suggestions….


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