Configuring ALUI when SQL Server Uses a Named Instance

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Often people are confused by how to configure their ALUI portal to run with a SQL Server configured to run with a named instance. This post will quickly review what this database configuration is, then it will explain how to run the portal with such a configuration.

MSSQL 2000 and 2005 allow multiple instances of the database to run on the same installation. When you create these instances, you distinguish them by a name that lets you refer to them in a human-centric way and a port number that is used across the network in a computer-centric way. For example, I might create a SQL Server instance named stagingdb to run on port 2048.

You can see how your server is configured as follows:

  • Go to Programs -> Microsoft SQL Server 2005 -> Configuration Tools -> SQL Server Configuration Manager.
  • Within that tool, go to SQL Server 2005 Network Configuration -> Protocols for {instance-name} -> TCP/IP Properties
  • Go to the IP Addresses panel, then scroll down to the TCP Dynamic Ports to see what port number corresponds to the instance.

 named-instance-config

Microsoft tools such as Query Analyzer and SQL Server Management Studio let you connect to this in a friendly way, for example, I can specify that I want to connect to the database "mymachine\stagingdb," then behind the scenes it will connect on port 2048 to that instance.

However, if I have a Java application that is not aware of the Microsoft concept of named instances, then I will need to connect to it using the database "mymachine" and the port "2048."

So what about your portal? When you go through the Portal Configuration Manager (which has the same UI for Java and for .NET portals), the common UI doesn't allow you refer to your database using the instance name. You've got to drop the name and just use the port. For example, on my machine, I have this:

 portal-config-named-instance

Notice that even though the Portal Configuration Manager prompts me with the default MSSQL port of 1433, I put in 1555. Also notice that even though my instance happens to be "localhost\SQLEXPRESS," I refer to it here as simply "localhost."

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