Essbase and SQL Server Express: just don’t

I’m working on a writeup on how to get a fully functional Essbase server up and running in a virtual machine (using Sun VirtualBox).  I’m currently working on the steps — setting up the Essbase funtionality is relatively straightforward, although you need a relational database to store various information.

“No problem,” I thought to myself, “I’ll just pop on a copy of SQL Server Express.” Oh how naive I was.  In theory, I’m sure it’s possible to use SQL Server Express as the backend for a Hyperion installation, but after fiddling around with various options, enabling TCP/IP, and doing everything else I could think of, I just couldn’t get things to work.  So I yanked it off the virtual machine and put the real deal on — a full copy of SQL Server 2005 — and presto!  I was up and running in no time.  So if you happen to reach this blog article because you googled “SQL Server Express Essbase oh for the love of god why do you mock me” or something similar, I hope this popped first to let you know you may be in for a bumpy ride.

Update: Several of my readers have commented on how they’ve been successfully using SQL Server Express for their purposes.  I didn’t spend an incredible amount of time trying to configure Express to work, and given that the full version of SQL Server is available to me, I went ahead and installed that without looking back.  As I suspected, you need to play with the connection settings a bit in order to get things to work, and if someone cares to do a writeup of what that procedure looks like, I’d be more than happy to post it here.  Thanks for the suggestions, all.