Installing SQL Server Express separate from Acctivate

This article outlines the steps for the installation of SQL Server Express 2017. The process is very similar for SQL 2019.

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 2017 Express Edition for Acctivate.

Note: SQL Server is only required on the server/primary computer for Acctivate.  SQL Server 2017 requires a 64-bit Windows operating system.  Also, 32-bit SQL Server on a 64-bit operating system (WOW64) is no longer supported as of the 2016 version.  Please refer to the System Requirements for SQL Server, provided by Microsoft.

Starting Steps:

  1. Download the SQL Server 2017 Express installation utility from Microsoft, launch the installer
  2. Decide if you want to install "Basic" or "Custom"
    1. We do not recommend "Basic" as you will have no option to rename the instance, set authentication methods, etc.
    2. We recommend Custom as you will be able to name the instance and set authentication up to your likings.

For Basic Installation:

  1. Click on "Basic"
  2. Choose the installation location. You should choose a drive with plenty of space as this location will house the database as well.
  3. Click "Install" and wait for the installation to finish.
  4. Note down the instance name for connection to Acctivate. (Should be SQLEXPRESS)

You're finished with installing SQL Express! Now you can use point Acctivate to use this instance, or install Acctivate using this instance instead of the default.

For Custom Installation:

  1. Click on "Custom"
  2. 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.
  3. Click "Install" and wait for the installation to finish.
  4. 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. New install
      1. 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.
  5. Agree to the license terms and click "Next"
  6. The next step will be "Install Setup Files" which will not require any action from the user.
  7. The installer will next check "Install Rules." After it finishes, click "Next" 
    1. 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-1
  8. On the "Feature Selection" page, you may want to uncheck "Machine Learning Services" to avoid having to install Microsoft R and Python as these are not required. 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.
  9. 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."
  10. 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.
    1. auto
  11. 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 your self as a SQL server administrator.
  12. 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.
  13. When you're satisfied with the authentication and data directories, click "Next."
  14. SQL will begin to install the instance. While you wait, be sure to read our Docs page for learning everything Acctivate!
  15. Once the install finishes, you'll want to verify that every feature has "Status" as "Succeeded." 
    1. 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!
    2. 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 stand alone 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.