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SQL Server 2016 Compatibility with ArcGIS Enterprise 11.3

06-10-2024 07:05 AM
New Contributor II

While we wait for our IT department to upgrade our instance of SQL Server from 2016 we are tempted to test upgrading ArcGIS Enterprise from 11.1 to 11.3. Has anyone tried this, appreciating the fact that Esri state they do not support SQL Server 2016 with 11.3?

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5 Replies
Frequent Contributor

I wouldn't try it.  You might be able to get away with it, but it could be very unstable.  I do know that with Pro 3.3 and Enterprise 11.3 you cannot register a 2016 sql sde database as a database with Portal. 

If you have a distributed deployment, you could update Portal, the hosting site server, and the relational datastore to 11.3 while a federated server site remains at 11.1.  This is assuming that any sde sql datastore is registered with the federated Server site only, and not with Enterprise (does not appear as a registered data connection item in your Portal content).


New Contributor II


Thanks for the response. I was thinking the Pro connection could be a problem. We have a multi-box deployment so exploring your other suggestion might be something we will look into.


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Regular Contributor

I've tested an already existing 2016 EGDB with ArcGIS Pro 3.3 and I was able to connect to it, but I wouldn't recommend it since it's not officially supported.

New Contributor III

Does anyone know why SQL Server 2016 is no longer supported? They list the SQL Server 2017 supported driver being the same ODBC SQL Server 17 driver that we use for our SQL Server 2016 instance currently. I'm not going to pretend like I know much about what's happening behind the curtain regarding RDBMS programming and functionalities that would lead a version to be supported or not, but I'm very curious if there's a straightforward answer. 

I think my org will not be willing to update our SQL Server version above 2016 for 1 to 2 years at least for various reasons, unless there is a fire under our butts for some other reason besides Enterprise 11.3. I may have to set up a Postgres instance on a new machine just for my Enterprise Geodatabases instead in order to move forward with 11.3.

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New Contributor III

Update: I got a response from an ESRI engineer:

Microsoft’s mainstream support of SQL Server 2016 ended in July 2021, and extended support ends in July 2026. Because Enterprise 11.3 is supported well beyond that date, we could not offer support for SQL Server 2016 with ArcGIS Enterprise 11.3.

And a separate response from an ESRI support rep: 

Please refer to the screenshot that I got from this link as attached below:-


Just to let you know, the 'older ArcGIS clients' referred to in the picture are pointing to all old versions of software configured with ArcGIS Enterprise. This includes the SQL Server version as well and is not limited to the DBMS version.
As stated in the picture, you still can perform a normal task within the ArcGIS Enterprise and Pro, and as stated in my previous email, the connectivity between your Pro and ArcGIS Enterprise to the SQL Server will not be affected.
However, if you open any datasets that need a compatible version of the SQL Server, then only you will observe an error message as stated in the screenshot. Aside from that, I don't think it will give an issue to your deployment.
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