I have a Windows Server 2003 machine that is dedicated to running Sharepoint Services 3. I need to host a new internal web application on this machine which requires SQL Server. I have already confirmed with the application developer that SQL Server 2005 Express is suitable for his application.

Is there any harm in installing SQL Server 2005 on a Sharepoint Services 3 box? Does Sharepoint use SQL Server? I don't see that it is explicitly installed on this machine already. Is there anything I should know before doing this?


There shouldn't be any danger of breaking Sharepoint by installing SQL Express. However I would try and find out which SQL Server your Sharepoint is using. If you have a big iron SQL Server (with a compliant dba) you'd probably get better performance by putting your web app database on the existing SQL Server. Assuming the web app is sensibly written it should have no problem using a SQL database ona different server.

You could find out what server Sharepoint is using by opening a command prompt on the Sharepoint server and typing

netstat | find ":1433"

SQL Server uses port 1433 for client connections so the output from netstat should show the connection to your SQL Server. If it doesn't show anything open the Sharepoint site and browse around it while rerunning the command.


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    1433 is the default port. If SQL is running as a named instance it will be using a different port. – Aaron Weiker Jun 18 '09 at 18:55

Sharepoint does use SQL, but will be pointed elsewhere. The only problem I see is that you'll take a performance hit.


Since Windows SharePoint Services requires a version of SQL Server to run you may be able to utilize this same instance. If you are using the bundled version that comes with WSS, I believe this only allows for WSS to use it. Otherwise any other version will let you share that same instance amongst multiple applications.


If you are running WSS on this box and do not see SQL Server Express already loaded, then you chose to do a Basic Install, which loaded up (and is running off of) Windows Internal Database. Amongst the limitations of Windows Internal Database (aka SQL Server Embedded Edition) is no preloaded GUI database management tools.

To answer your question, loading up SQL Server Express for a different application will have absolutely no effect on WSS (other than whatever resources will be used by the other application/database). In the future, when loading up WSS, do an advanced install and explicitly choose to install to SQL Server Express (on the off chance you want to actually do any database maintenance to the WSS content databases).

If you want to go completely buck-wild, the following article will walk you through migrating the existing WSS Content Databases from Windows Internal Database to SQL Server: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc287738.aspx

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