1 (edited by Stuart 11-05-2006 14:09:22)

Re: Recorder 6 and SQL Server 2005

In the course of some testing, I needed an installation of Recorder 6 on the new SQL Server 2005 (actually SQL Express Edition - the 2005 equivalent of MSDE). Thought it would be worth recording how it went.

Getting hold of SQL Express

This is free and available from the Microsoft web-site. An adavance on MSDE is that the database management tools (the equivalent of SQL 2000's Enterprise Manager) are also freely available.

First you need .NET 2.0 Framework installed before you can install SQL Express. You can get that (also free) from http://msdn.microsoft.com/netframework/ - (23Mb).

Then you can download and install SQL Express from http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/sql/download/ (55Mb).

Finally, you can download and install the management tools from the same page (34Mb).

Getting Recorder 6 using it

I started from a working, standalone installation of Recorder 6 using MSDE. The way I did it was:

1. detach the NBNData files from MSDE using Enterprise Manager and made a copy of the files somewhere safe,

2. unistalled the MSDE engine from the Windows Control Panel and deleted the original database path,

3. Next I went through installing .NET 2.0, SQL Express and its tools,

4. put the NBNData files where I wanted them (in \Recorder 6\Database\) and attached them to the SQL Express instance using the management tools obtained above,

5. changed the "Server Name" key in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Dorset Software\Recorder 6 in the registry to the name of the SQL Express server instance to which I had attached the database. I aslo changed the "Trusted Security" key in the same path to True (1).

When I fired up Rec6 (v6.8.1), it connected successfully and, so far, it has worked OK.


1. All the usual warnings apply about messing with the system registry. Don't do this unless you are sure you know what you are doing and have backed up the registry first!

2. Recorder 6 has not been fully tested with SQL Express - so you probably shouldn't use it for critical data yet.


SQL Express has a database size limit of 4Gb - (double the 2Gb of MSDE). Like MSDE, it can be seamlessly updated to a full version of SQL Server 2005 if size or number of concurrent users becomes limiting.

SQL Express has performance benefits over the older version. Import and export performance of Rec6 is reported to be markedly faster under 2005.

The database management tools for it are freely available. These have had an XP make-over, so they look quite nice (if you like XP's rounded, graduated styles!), but feel reasonably familiar if you have used Enterprise Manage.


You need a pretty modern, high spec machine and oodles of disk space for all this stuff. The hardware and software requirements for SQL Express are detailed here

The .NET 2.0 framework is a fairly profound change and may affect existing software that uses the 1.0 or 1.1 Framework.



Re: Recorder 6 and SQL Server 2005

Useful stuff, thanks for writing it up.

One comment - the .Net Framework 2.0 is, at least in theory, separate from 1.0 and 1.1 so should not affect existing applications.  At Dorset Software we have many apps based on all versions of the framework and none have yet suffered from the install of v2.0.

John van Breda
Biodiverse IT


Re: Recorder 6 and SQL Server 2005

When I found I had to install .NET 2.0, I did a web-search to try and find out if it was going to cause me any problems - bacause I am in the middle of developing Wildlife Stats web-site stuff using Delphi 2006 with .NET 1.1.

I found lots of stuff on Delphi discussion groups about this. It seems that when you set up the virtual directory for a project, it should be possible to set which version of the framework you want to use by going to its properties and setting this option on a ASP.NET tab off the propoerties sheet. If this works then there are no problems and the various .NET versions can happily co-exist.

However, some people find they don't get this tab. This seems to be something to do with the exact version of Windows and the order in which the frameworks have been installed - although nobody (including Microsoft) seem to have pinned it down exactly. If you are one of the unlucky ones, then there are work-rounds, but it sounds a real pain. Since I am working to a deadline at the moment, I didn't want to risk it. So I tried it out on another machine!



Re: Recorder 6 and SQL Server 2005


If you installed SQL Server 2005 BEFORE installing Recorder 6, would the latter "find" the former and list is as an available instance to which Recorder 6 files could be attached? If that makes sense!




Re: Recorder 6 and SQL Server 2005

I've just answered my own question by re-installing Recorder 6. Yes, SQLServer Express 2005 DOES show as an option during the Recorder installation. But if I select it, finish the install and re-start, then the Recorder Database Setup stalls on attaching the NBN Data file (at least, nothing happens after 20 mins).


Alan Hale


Re: Recorder 6 and SQL Server 2005

Version 6.8.1 (as yet unreleased to the public) includes an update to the install kits to make them compatible with running on SQL Server 2005 or SQL Express.  It doesn't include an installation for SQL Express, but if you have one already then it will be able to use it.

John van Breda
Biodiverse IT