Installing SQL Server Express separate from Acctivate

This article outlines the steps for the installation of SQL Server Express 2022. The process is very similar for previous versions of SQL.

Acctivate QuickBooks Inventory Management Software inventory platform is built upon a solid foundation that includes Microsoft SQL Server.

The Acctivate Server (New/Full) Install package includes SQL Server Express Edition.  However, there are times when you may need to install SQL Server Express for Acctivate separately.  Please follow the instructions below to install and configure SQL Server 2022 Express Edition for Acctivate.

Note:  SQL Server is only required on the server computer for Acctivate.

  1. Download the SQL Server 2022 Express installation utility from Microsoft, launch the installer
  2. Choose the "Custom" installation, NOT the basic option.
    1. We do not recommend "Basic" as you will have no option to rename the instance, set authentication methods, etc.
  3. Specify the download location of SQL server media. The SQL server is what will actually be used to create the instance. The media can be located on any drive as it will not necessarily be the drive that houses the database.
  4. Click "Install" and wait for the installation to finish.
  5. When the install finishes, the "SQL Server Installation Center" will automatically open. From here you can download the SQL instance by choosing the "New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation."
    1. SQL 2022
    2. We highly recommend you to also "Install SQL Server Management Tools" also known as SMSS in order to manage your SQL server. Support may have to use this tool for troubleshooting.
  6. Agree to the license terms and click "Next."
  7. The next step will be "Install Setup Files" which will not require any action from the user.
  8. The installer will next check "Install Rules." After it finishes, click "Next." 
  9. If the "Windows Firewall" rule has a status of "Warning" be sure you check out our article on configuring the firewall to allow SQL access
    1. warning
  10. The next step will prompt you to either perform a new install of SQL 2022 or add features to an existing. Select the "Perform a new installation of SQL Server 2022" radio button and click "Next."
  11. Agree to the license terms and click "Next."
  12. The next portion will ask if you'd like the Azure extension for SQL server. Simply uncheck the "Azure Extension for SQL Server" box and then click "Next."
  13. On the "Feature Selection" page, you only need the "Database Engine Services." Uncheck everything else. You can change the "Instance Root Directory" to install the instance on another drive. You should choose the drive that has the most space. We highly recommend an SSD.
  14. The next step, "Instance Configuration" will allow you to customize the name of the instance. Be sure to choose "Named Instance." We recommend something like "Acctivate" for simplicity. When you enter the name, click "Next."
  15. For "Server Configuration" you should ensure the "Startup Type" for SQL Server Database Engine and SQL Server Browser to be "Automatic" so that the services start automatically. Click Next.
  16. config server
  17. For the "Database Engine Configuration" we suggest setting "Authentication Mode" to be "Mixed Mode." This will allow you to sign into SQL server as your Windows user, or as the "SA" account in SQL. Be sure to click "Add Current User" to add yourself as a SQL server administrator.
  18. Be sure you change the "Data Directories" to set the database location and backup location to a location of your choosing. Be default, this is put on the C drive.
  19. When you're satisfied with the authentication and data directories, click "Next."
  20. SQL will begin to install the instance. While you wait, be sure to read our Docs page for learning everything Acctivate!
  21. Once the install finishes, you'll want to verify that every feature has "Status" as "Succeeded." 
  22. If anything fails, SQL may not work correctly. Be sure to check Microsoft's docs for help on resolving any failures. Most times a reboot and reinstall will fix any error!
  23. Be sure to check the "Summary Log" (Link located on the bottom of the window) for potential reasons and fixes for failures!

Congratulations! You've successfully installed a standalone instance of SQL Server express! Now you can use point Acctivate to use this instance, or install Acctivate using this instance instead of the default.