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Upgrade SQL Server Express

Available with Standard or Advanced license.

You can upgrade a Microsoft SQL Server Express instance using the SQL Server Express installation wizard.

The version of SQL Server Express that is delivered with ArcGIS has changed with some releases. The following lists the version of SQL Server Express that is delivered with each version of ArcGIS:

  • ArcGIS 9.2: SQL Server 2005 Express Service Pack (SP) 2
  • ArcGIS 9.3: SQL Server 2005 Express with Advanced Services
  • ArcGIS 9.3.1 and 10: SQL Server 2008 SP1 Express with Advanced Services
  • ArcGIS 10.1, 10.2, 10.2.1, and 10.2.2: SQL Server 2008 R2 Express with Advanced Services
  • ArcGIS 10.3 and 10.3.1: SQL Server 2012 Express

If you were using database servers with an earlier release of ArcGIS, you can upgrade your SQL Server Express instance when you install the current ArcGIS release.

Read Microsoft documentation to find information on which versions of SQL Server can be directly upgraded.

The following steps summarize using the ArcGIS Database Server wizard provided with ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS Engine, or ArcGIS for Server Workgroup to upgrade a SQL Server Express instance:

  1. Check the Microsoft documentation to be sure your computer meets the minimum requirements for installing the version of SQL Server Express provided with your ArcGIS client.
  2. Before upgrading the SQL Server Express instance, create backups of all your geodatabases.
  3. Launch the Database Server installation you downloaded from My Esri.
  4. When the installation dialog box appears, click Database Server.
  5. Leave the Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition option checked on the Installation Options dialog box. If you are using ArcGIS for Server at the Workgroup level and have a new license, leave the postinstallation option checked. If not, uncheck the postinstallation option and click Next.

    This launches the SQL Server setup wizard.

  6. Run the SQL Server setup wizard as described in the Microsoft documentation to upgrade your SQL Server Express instance.
  7. Be sure when you get to the Select Instance dialog box that you choose your existing SQL Server Express instance from the Instance to upgrade drop-down menu.
  8. The wizard detects the features that are currently installed with the SQL Server Express instance. You can only upgrade features that are already present; you cannot add new ones. Click Next to continue.
  9. When you get to the Full-text Upgrade dialog box, choose to Rebuild full-text catalogs.

    This means your existing full-text catalogs will be rebuilt using newer word breakers.

  10. The final dialog box indicates whether the upgrade was successful. Click Close to exit the upgrade wizard.
  11. If you also need to update the ArcGIS for Server Workgroup license, the ArcGIS wizard to enable your SQL Server Express instance will open.

Your existing geodatabases will also likely need to be upgraded. See Upgrade a desktop or workgroup geodatabase for instructions.