Connect to Microsoft SQL server 2008 (enterprise) database from Visual C# 2008 Express (Test connection failed)

Posted on 2008-11-07
Last Modified: 2013-12-17
Hope someone can help with this problem...

Using Visual C# 2008 express and SQL Server enterprise 2008
running on a laptop (vista home .premium)

i've created a new database using SQL server managment studio with no problem.
database via Management Studio there is no problem, the
database appears in the Explorer.

however, in Visual C# Express, when I try to 'Add Connection' as follows

Data source - MS SQL Server Database File
Database File Name - browse to appropriate folder and select
Log in using WIndows Authentification

and use the same database I receive the message (after a while):
"A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 - Error Locating Server/Instance Specified)"

and yes i did detach the database / disable windows firewall / shutdown anti-virus sw before i try to connect.

* also, let me say i manage to connect for OLE DB (Access 2007) with no problems

does visual c# express edtion got to do with this problem, i mean if full version of visual studio can solve the problem ?

Looking for a solution if possible for the SQL server 2008.

Question by:turki_00
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Usually you should choose SQL Server, not SQL Server Database File, as the data source, and choose the instance name you've installed; that way you shouldn't have a problem. The 'database file' option is used in other cases (attach a file to a server instance).

    Author Comment


    i only have 3 choices for the data source:
    1. Microsoft Access Database File (OLE DB)
    2. Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 (.NET Framework Data Provider for Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5)
    3. Microsoft SQL Server Database File (SqlClient)

    this is why i did chose the 3rd option (MS SQL server databse file)
    is there a (driver) i need to install for SQL server 2008 ?  (i did mention that i've installed sql server 2008 enterprice edtion on my machine)

    Author Comment

    this is a snap shot of the problem
    LVL 41

    Expert Comment

    The Express Editions doesn't support a connection to a "real" SQL Server.  
    However, you can still connect to SQL Server if  you code all of the pieces "by hand".   Admittantly, you won't be able to use the newer TableAdapters, etc.

    Author Comment


    so you are saying that to connect to sql server (i don't know why did u refere to it as "real") i have to get rid of the express edition and get the full version of visual studio. right ?

    LVL 41

    Accepted Solution

    The full version of Visual Studio provides support to SQL Server, so an upgrade will definitely solve the problem.
    The comment about "Real" SQL Server, means that you can connect to the server itself (rather than just the SQL Server files)
    I have heard of folks who just bypass the connection wizard and code the connection to the SQL Server "by hand".   Using this technique,  you *can* use C# Express to connect to a SQL Server... but you've got to do all the work.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you for the help

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