Enabling geodatabase functionality in an existing SQL Server database

This topic applies to ArcGIS for Desktop Standard and ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced only.

You can connect from ArcGIS for Desktop as a qualifying geodatabase administrator user to an existing Microsoft SQL Server database and create a geodatabase in it.

You would create a geodatabase in an existing SQL Server database if you decide you want to use geodatabase functionality such as topologies, networks, versioned editing, archiving, or replication. Creating the geodatabase in an existing database lets you customize your database; for example, if you want to create a specific-size .mdf and .ldf file or create them in a location other than the SQL Server default directory.

To create a geodatabase in an existing database, you could use the Create Enterprise Geodatabase tool, and the sde user will also be created for you. If you are using a dbo-schema geodatabase, you could instead use the Enable Enterprise Geodatabase geoprocessing tool to enable geodatabase functionality in an existing SQL Server database.

The following are the steps you take to enable a dbo-schema geodatabase in an existing SQL Server database using the Enable Enterprise Geodatabase tool, which can be accessed from a database connection in the Catalog tree.

  1. Start ArcMap or ArcCatalog.
  2. Create a database connection to the SQL Server database from the Catalog tree, connecting as a user who is dbo (in the sysadmin fixed server role) in the SQL Server instance.

    If connecting as a database authenticated user, be sure to save the user's password in the Database Connection dialog box.

  3. Right-click the database connection and click Enable Geodatabase.

    The Enable Enterprise Geodatabase tool opens.

  4. Add the database connection file for your SQL Server database to the Input Database text box.
  5. Browse to the ArcGIS for Server authorization file that was created when you authorized ArcGIS for Server, and add it to the Authorization File text box.

    When you use the wizard to authorize ArcGIS for Server, a keycodes file is written to the server where the software is installed. If you authorized ArcGIS for Server on a Linux box, the file was created in /arcgis/server/framework/runtime/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/ESRI/License<release>/sysgen. If you authorized on a Windows server, the file was created in Program Files\ESRI\License<release>\sysgen. If you have not already done so, authorize ArcGIS for Server to create this file.

  6. Click OK to run the tool.

A geodatabase is created in the database. The geodatabase tables are stored in the dbo schema in the database.

A log file for the geodatabase creation (GDBCreateGeodatabase<#>.log) is written to the directory specified for your %TEMP% variable on the computer where the tool is run. If you have any problems running the tool, check this log file to troubleshoot the problem.

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