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SQL Server Connectivity

Microsoft SQL Server connectivity will be the easiest to set up because most servers and workstations will already have all the components installed to connect to any of the current Microsoft SQL server versions.

Likely the hardest thing will be to find out the {server}\{service} name for the SQL server that you are interested in connecting to.  Some examples will be provided below.

Driver Installation

All current server and workstation versions of Microsoft Windows should have the necessary drivers preinstalled.

Database Connections

The instructions below are for SQL server installs that are using the standard protocols and ports.  If your DBA or Network Admin have chosen alternate settings then you will need to talk to them to figure out how to connect to the server.   Default setups for SQL server use the following settings:

  • Protocols: Named Pipes or TCP/IP
  • Port: 1433

SQL Server Authentication Required

To connect to SQL Server you need to use SQL Server Authentication and you must use a SQL Server account so your SQL Server must be set up in "Mixed Mode" to permit SQL Server Authentication based connections.

Attempts to use a Active Directory or Windows Server account to connect to the SQL Server will fail with a "Login Failed" error.

For details on setting up SQL Server Authentication please see:

Default Instances

If you are connecting to a default instance of SQL Server installed on a server or workstation, then you can simply use the name of the server itself.  So if the server is named "Fred", then you simply need to enter the name "Fred".  If you are not able to use the server name then you could also use the IP address.  The IP address might be used if the server is hosted at a remote site or in an area where name resolution is not set up or reliable.

Named Instances

A named instance of SQLServer would be accessed by specifying the server name followed by a slash followed by the name of the instance.   For example, an instance named "HR" on a server named "Fred" would be accessed by "Fred\HR"

SQL Server Express

A default install of SQL Server Express will be installed as a special instance usually named "SQLExpress".  To access an instance of SQL Server Express on the local computer you will specify a server name of ".\SQLExpress".  If the express instance is hosted on a server named "Fred", then you would enter "Fred\SQLExpress".


When setting up the database user for the SQL Server connection it is important that the VIEW DEFINITION privilege not be revoked.  By default, all non-public users should already have the VIEW DEFINITION privilege but a security-conscious DBA can revoke that privilege.

Without this privilege, dbFront can't query for the information it needs to build the screens.   If this privilege is missing then you will see the following error in the Advanced Database View:

This connection does not have access to any database or table within those databases.
You may need to grant VIEW DEFINITION to the user %Username%
by running [GRANT VIEW DEFINITION TO %Username%]

Trouble Shooting

  • Login Failed for user 'ZZZ'
    Please verify that you are attempting to connect with a SQL Server user account.  A network or windows server account will fail.
    For more details see: SQL Server Authentication
  • Can't connect via Windows Authentication
    The connection to SQL Server must be made via SQL Server Authentication.  Once the connection has been established then users will be able to login to dbFront with their windows credentials and access the database.
    For more details see: SQL Server Authentication
  • This connection does not have access to any database or table within those databases.
    You will see this message if dbFront can't find any objects in your database.  This either means that there is nothing to see, or that your user does not have the needed privileges to see any objects or metadata.
    For more details see:  VIEW DEFINITION Required

Next Step

The next step would be connecting to a database and starting the setup of a web application.

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