Microsoft SQL Server Resources Configure Microsoft SQL Server Express for Multiuser Environments

Provided by the FMS Development Team

Introduction to Microsoft SQL Express

SQL Express is the free version of Microsoft SQL Server that supports databases up to 10 GB. For more information on SQL Express and how it differs from other editions, visit our Microsoft SQL Express page.

SQL Express Can Provide Databases Across Your Network

SQL Express is most commonly installed on a PC to provide database for applications running on that PC. Fortunately, it can also provide databases used by other PCs, subject to the limitations of the SQL Express edition. Follow our instructions below on configuring SQL Express to provide a free SQL Server across your network.


Open SQL Server Configuration Manager, which installs as part of SQL Express and enable TCP/IP for the SQL Express instance. The server needs to be trusted on the domain if you are going to use Windows Integrated security.

Note: SQL Configuration Manager is different from Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). You can launch it by running: SQLServerManager15.msc, where 15 is the version number (for SQL Server 2019). For more information, visit Microsoft's webpage SQL Server Configuration Manager.

  1. Open the 'Run' dialog box by clicking the [Windows Logo Key] + [R] key.
    Type the following: SQLServerManager15.msc and click [OK].

    Windows Run Dialog

  2. In the left section, select 'SQL Server Network Configuration' and click 'Protocols for SQLEXPRESS'.
    Double-click on the 'TCP/IP'.

    SQL Server Network Configuration TCP

  3. Set 'Enabled' to 'Yes' and click [Apply].

    TCP/IP Enabled

  4. The following message will appear, click [OK].

    TCP/IP Enabled Warning

  5. Switch to the 'IP Addresses' tab. In the IPAll section, copy and paste the value from TCP Dynamic Ports to TCP Port and click [Apply].

    Note: The port number may differ from the port in the below screenshot. If the Dynamic Port is 0, delete the value and enter a 5-digit number for the TCP Port.
    Make a note of the port number.

    TCP Port

  6. The following message will appear, click [OK].

    TCP Warning Message

  7. The service can be restarted by selecting the first item in the left section called 'SQL Server Services'.
    In the right panel, right-click the service that was changed, and select [Restart].

    SQL Server Services Restart

  8. In the Windows Search bar, type 'Windows Defender Firewall' and open the program.

    Windows Defender Firewall

  9. Select 'Advanced Setting' > [Inbound Rules] and click [New Rule...].

    Windows Defender Firewall New Rule

  10. Select Port as the Rule Type and select [Next].

    New Inbound Rule Wizard

  11. Select 'Specific Local Ports' and enter the TCP port number you previously noted. Click [Next].

    New Inbound Rule Wizard TCP Port Number

  12. Select 'Allow the Connection' and click [Next].

    New Inbound Rule Wizard Allow Connection

  13. Select 'Domain' and 'Private' that the rule applies to and click [Next].

    New Inbound Rule Wizard Apply Rule

  14. Name the rule and click [Finish].

    New Inbound Rule Wizard Rule Name

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