Error creating Citrix WEM database on SQL Express – “database creation error”

You may see this error setting up WEM on SQL Express. Here’s how to solve.

When you install Citrix Workspace Environment Management (WEM), you need to connect to a database instance. Usually in proof-of-concept situations, I recommend simply using an SQL Express instance that you install locally to the WEM system. After WEM Infrastructure Services installation, you are prompted to run the Database creation wizard and supply the required credentials

Sometimes you may see the Database Creation Wizard hang for a long period of time after you have supplied the details, and then throw up this (really helpful!) error

There is a log file that you can check to get the real error, it is located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Norskale\Norskale Infrastructure Services and the log is called Citrix WEM Database Management Utility Debug Log.txt

In this case, we can see that the error is “A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server”. This seems to indicate a generic failure to establish a network connection.

Check the obvious causes first – is the SQL Server service running? Is network access enabled? Is the firewall correctly configured? Is DNS functioning correctly? If these all check out, it may be that remote connections aren’t enabled.

If you didn’t already, install SQL Server Management Studio (SMSS) on your SQL Express system. It is available as part of the SQL Express install or you can download it separately.

Once installed, run SQL Server Management Studio and log in. Right-click on the instance name (top of the left-hand pane) and choose Properties. Click on the Connections tab, and ensure that “Allow remote connections” is ticked as below. Interestingly, the timeout (600) is why we see such a long delay when the wizard errors out during connection.

Next, we need to ensure that the SQL server service is listening on port 1433. Open SQL Server Configuration Manager, expand SQL Server Network Configuration, and click on the Protocols tab. Ensure that TCP-IP is Enabled as below

When Enabled, right-click on TCP-IP and choose Properties. Switch to the IP Addresses tab. Scroll down to the bottom of this dialog box and look for “IP All”. Ensure that the TCP Dynamic Ports entry is blank,and that TCP Port is set to 1433 as below

Ensure that you restart the SQL Server service after doing this to make sure the changes are applied to the process.

You can now test the remote connectivity by going to a remote machine, opening a command prompt, and opening a telnet session to port 1433 by typing

telnet servername 1433

If you see this, it will indicate that connection to the specified port was successful

Now if you try re-running the WEM Database Creation Wizard, this time you should see it connect quickly and successfully set up the database as required.

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