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*Most of the concepts and configuration lessons in this category of blog posts “SQL Server Installation - Config” also apply to SQL Server 2005 Express and Full editions (as well as SQL Server 2008 Full edition).  Also, if you have installed any version of SQL Server 2008 or 2005 on your machine already, you may be reading these lessons to look for hints regarding how to set up SQL Server for smooth integration with ASP.NET and C# database programming; if that is your situation, you will probably find value in going through the lessons to learn the configuration parameters and setup that I tweaked to make SQL Server work smoothly with ASP.NET and ADO.NET.

If you haven’t already done so, please read the lesson Preparing your computer to install SQL Server 2008 Express before proceeding with the installation.  As I said in the lesson, installing SQL Server can be a bumpy ride at times; just hang in there and you will be successful.  Please note that the installation and configuration of SQL Server in these lessons is written for .NET developers who are looking to integrate their ASP.NET applications with a database, anybody that is working with SQL Server may benefit from the information covered here.

The setup process described here has evolved over time after I  experimented with various configurations and chose the one that integrated with ASP.NET with the least issues.  For example, I had many problems using Windows Authentication with ASP.NET and SQL Server, so I switched to SQL Server Authentication which Microsoft labels as an older technology, but it is readily used in the industry and from ADO.NET is more similar in configuration/integration with other databases like Oracle and MySQL.

Before you actually start the SQL Server 2008 Express installation program, you need to create a new user account for SQL Server on your computer.  SQL Server runs as a service in Windows and Windows requires that you choose a user account to run the service as.  It is recommended that you use an account that has the least amount of priveleges on the computer as necessary.  For example, you can create an account that is NOT part of Administrators and that should be fine.  This helps improve the security of your computer.  Click here to watch a video showing exactly how to create a Windows user account for SQL Server.

  1. Open Windows Explorer.  The easiest way to do that is either to press the Microsoft button on your keyboard, hold it down and then press E.  If you don’t have a Microsoft button, click Start->Run, type “explorer” without the quotes and press Enter.
  2. Once Explorer comes up, right click on My Computer and choose Manage.  That will bring up the Computer Management window.
  3. From there you should go into the Local Users and Groups.  Open the Users list.
  4. Follow the sequence in the video above to learn how to create a new User.  I named my new account “SQL Server Service” so that I could identify it easily.  Make sure you remember or write down the password because you are going to be required to type it in again later while running the SQL Server installation program.

Now, let’s begin the actual installation.  Navigate to the folder where you download SQL Server 2008 Express and run the program SQLEXPRWT_x86_ENU.exe.  Your file name may be different depending on what particular version you are installing.  Windows may ask you if you want to run the program or cancel, click Run to proceed.  Following that the installation program will initialize itself and that may take a couple of minutes.  Eventually the SQL Server Installation Center window will come up.  Click on Installation underneath Planning.  Then on the right side, click on “New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation”.  That will bring up another window called SQL Server 2008 Setup.  This is the window where most of the installation takes place.  Click here to watch a comprehensive video example of how to install SQL Server.  As you watch the video, here are some important configuration steps to pay attention to along the way:

  • In the Feature Selection window, you should choose “Database Engine Services” and “Management Tools - Basic” at a minimum; other features are optional.
  • In the Server Configuration window, you will have to configure the SQL Server Service to use the account “SQL Server Service” that you created earlier in this lesson.  You will be required to enter the password and it must match what you entered earlier in the lesson when you created the account.
  • In the Database Engine Configuration window, make sure to choose Mixed Mode.  Type in a password for the system administrator account.  This account is the famous “sa” account in SQL Server.  Make sure you either write down or remember this password because you will need it later in your ADO.NET connection string when you want to connect to the database.
  • In the Database Engine Configuration window, you will also need to Specify SQL Server administrators.  The easiest way to do this is choose the Local computer group Administrators.  This way, when you logon to your computer as a user with administrative priveleges, you will be able to administer your SQL Server instance.
  • You will notice in the example video that I had an error message at the bottom of my Installation Rules window.  The error stated “Previous releases of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008″ and when I clicked on the Failed hyperlink it gave me more detailed information along with what I needed to do, which was install Visual Web Developer 2008 Express with SP1.  I left the SQL Server installation running while I installed the Visual Web Developer.
  • The following part 2 video continues where Part 1 left off, after I installed the new Visual Web Developer.  Notice that the error message went away after I clicked Re-run.  This video ends when the installation starts running and files are being copied etc.  That part takes a while; about 15 minutes on my computer.
  • Finally, the last part 3 video shows that everything was installed successfully and the installation is complete.

Stay tuned for the next lessons, where I will cover how to configure SQL Server 2008 so that integration with ADO.NET and ASP.NET will be smooth.  This will help you practice with ADO.NET and write database programs.

1 Comment »

  1. Love it ! Very helpful

    Comment by Joseph — January 25, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

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