SQL SERVER 2012 LocalDB ODBC Connection

Posted on 2014-03-22
Last Modified: 2014-04-09
I am running WINDOWS 7 ULIMATE SP1 32-BIT with .NET FRAMEWORK 4.5.1.
I have downloaded and installed SQL SERVER 2012 LocalDB and Microsoft ODBC Driver 11 for SQL SERVER to-day onto this computer and rebooted.
The default LocalDB instance v11.0 is running - checked with SqlLocalDb command.
I have a working database created and processed by SQL SERVER 2012 MANAGEMENT STUDIO and have copied the .mdf and.ldf files into C:Temp.
I wish to create an ODBC System DSN entry for this database.

I go through the wizard, specifying SQL SERVER instance v11.0 which is in my list of servers and get the final screen:

Microsoft ODBC Driver for SQL Server Version 11.00.2270

Data Source Name: A2ZTEST
Data Source Description: a2z
Server: v11.0
Use Integrated Security: Yes
Database: a2ztest
Language: (Default)
Data Encryption: No
Trust Server Certificate: No
Multiple Active Result Sets(MARS): No
Mirror Server:
Translate Character Data: Yes
Log Long Running Queries: No
Log Driver Statistics: No
Use Regional Settings: No
Use ANSI Quoted Identifiers: Yes
Use ANSI Null, Paddings and Warnings: Yes
Attach Database Filename: C:\Temp\a2ztest2.mdf

click TEST DATASOURCE and get this error screen:

Microsoft ODBC Driver for SQL Server Version 11.00.2270

Running connectivity tests...

Attempting connection
[Microsoft][ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server]SQL Server Network Interfaces: Error Locating Server/Instance Specified [xFFFFFFFF].
[Microsoft][ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server]Login timeout expired
[Microsoft][ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server]A network-related or instance-specific error has occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. Server is not found or not accessible. Check if instance name is correct and if SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. For more information see SQL Server Books Online.


The LocalDB SQL SERVER instance is not found for some reason despite the fact that it is in the list of SQL SERVER instances presented in the wizard.

How do I set up an ODBC entry for this LocalDB database - where am I going wrong and what else do I need to do ?
Question by:RichardTatlow
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Abrahams
ID: 39947596
Try using "localhost", "", or "." for the servername.

Note that if it's not the default instance it should be localhost\NamedInstance.

Also did you configure named pipes to be enabled?
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39947654
Both the SQL Server and the SQL Native Client must have the same communications protocols enabled.  This is what it looks like for an older version.  The SQL Native client in that list has the same options.
SQL Connections

Author Comment

ID: 39947804
Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately there is no communications protocols option in the ODBC wizard for 'ODBC Driver 11 for SQL SERVER' and the standalone LocalDB installation does not provide any configuration or administration utilities to set a communications protocol.

When I start the localDB instance it returns a named pipe so I wonder if that is the problem - it needs a named pipe but there is no way of setting one in the ODBC wizard.
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LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39947952
You do not set it in the ODBC Manager.  You set it in the SQL Configuration Manager as I showed in the image above.  On Windows XP it is also available thru the Administrative Tools.

Author Comment

ID: 39948471
I cannot do that because there is no SQL Configuration Manager installed with localDB, unlike my computers with SQL SERVER EXPRESS installed. The 'Program Files' folder contains a single 'Microsoft SQL Server' folder with a '110' subfolder containing nothing but the LocalDB files. There is no SQL SERVER program of any description in the Program Menu - the LocalDB server instance is run from a command prompt.

Also the named pipe is different each time the computer is started up and the LocalDB instance started.
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39948815
Interesting, I thought you were talking about SQL Server / Express.  I found the info about LocalDB on this page:   The description of the connection requirements is somewhat confusing.  It looks like they are expecting you to connect using Visual Studio.

This page is about a 'command line management tool: SqlLocalDB.exe':

Author Comment

ID: 39950066
Yes - I have read all of this and cannot find any relevant info - perhaps ODBC connections are not enabled. I shall put a question into MSDN and see what happens.

Accepted Solution

RichardTatlow earned 0 total points
ID: 39966161
I have obtained the answer on MSDN. The server has to be named as '(localdb)\v11.0', access is Windows Integrated, database name =a2ztest2, attached file='C:\Temp\a2ztest2.mdf' and the test connection is successful and my application connects and runs OK. The named pipe appears to be accommodated automatically.
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39967232
I'm glad you found it.  After I understood what you were looking for, it seemed like an odd thing.  Is it doing what you wanted now?

Author Comment

ID: 39967369
Yes - exactly as I would have hoped. I could not understand how the named pipe could be configured when it changes at each reboot and there is no reference to named pipes in the ODBC wizard. The key is the correct server name:  (localdb)\v11.0. Miss out the (localdb)\ bit and it does not work. The ODBC mechanism presumably must resolve the connection whatever the named pipe happens to be.
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39967587
Interesting.  Thanks for posting the answer you found.
LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:Anthony Perkins
ID: 39968167
The key is the correct server name:  (localdb)\v11.0.
In case you are interested that is all covered in SQL Server connection strings

Just scroll down to the LocalDB section and click on the appropriate link.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39988230
It works

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