Database connection error

03-27-2017 09:35 AM
Occasional Contributor

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to connect to my 2008R2 SQL server using the "Add Database Connection" wizard in Catalog, but I'm getting an error message "Unable to connect to database server to retrieve database list; please verify your server name, user name and password info and try again."

I opened up an ESRI support ticket but they just told me ArcMap 10.5 is not supported with SQL server 2008 and helped me create a read only connection to the DB and that's not helping me. I want to connect to the database so I can add a query layer and geocode addresses from my SQL DB. That's another story though, for now just trying to make the DB connection. Thanks.

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7 Replies
Occasional Contributor III


How about upgrading your SQL Server to 2012 or 2014 or using the lower versions of ArcMap such as 10.2 or 10.3?

Occasional Contributor

We aren't upgrading our SQL servers until next year and I see no point in rolling back from 10.5 to an older version.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Good luck convincing Esri to support SQL Server 2008 R2 at 10.5, you will need it.

What SQL Server client and version are you running on the 10.5 machine?

Occasional Contributor

Hey Joshua, I'm running SQL Server 2014 management studio and ODBC driver 13.1

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Esri Frequent Contributor

Connection support for SQL Server 2008 stopped at the 10.4 release. Mainstream support for SQL Server 2008 R2 ended on July 8, 2014 (over 2 1/2 years ago) and only extended support is available, gives limited support on the platform.

Here is a Problem: Connections from ArcGIS 10.4.1 or ArcGIS Pro 1.3 to SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 fail  technical article.

Extended Support

The Extended Support phase follows Mainstream Support for business, developer, and desktop operating system products. At the supported service pack level, Extended Support includes:
  • Paid support4
  • Security update support at no additional cost
  • Nonsecurity related updates requires Extended Hotfix Support to be purchased (per-fix fees also apply).5
    Extended Hotfix Support is not available for desktop operating system consumer products. More details are available
  • Microsoft will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes, or new features during the Extended Support phase
  • Extended Support is not available for consumer, consumer hardware, or multimedia products
  • Enrollment in a maintenance program may be required to receive these benefits for certain products
4 Limited complimentary support may be available (varies by product).

5 Microsoft Lifecycle policy permits the creation and broad distribution of certain nonsecurity updates during the Extended Support phase. For example, it may be necessary to provide a nonsecurity update that enables continued connectivity and servicing through the Automatic Update or Windows Server Update service.

GeodatabaseEnterprise GIS

--- George T.
New Contributor

Hey Brandon

I installed the Microsoft ODBC Driver 11 with Arcgis 10.5 and Arcgis 10.5.1 and they are both working with SQL server 2008 R2


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Occasional Contributor III

Also be sure your user connecting has privileges to access the SQL Server database. Also like others said install OBDC drivers and be sure the native SQL CLient is installed on the connecting machine

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