How to Upgrade SQL Express to Standard for SOLIDWORKS Electrical

Article by Danish Butt updated January 16, 2024


The upgrade SQL Express to Standard yields numerous advantages, with the most important one being the potential for unlimited storage allocation within SQL Standard.

A stark contrast to the confined 10 GB storage limit inherent in SQL Express that comes with SOLIDWORKS Electrical Installation by default. This upgrade extends substantial benefits to users, providing an expansive storage capacity that empowers seamless data management and scalability within your database infrastructure.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Design System Migration

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Design System

Critical points to consider when upgrading

While the upgrade process might seem straightforward, there are critical points to consider before proceeding.

  • Primarily, this upgrade path is confined to the same SQL version and year—meaning, for instance, that the transition from SQL Express 2014 to SQL Standard 2014 is supported.
  • However, attempting to upgrade across different years is not viable due to the upgrade mechanism being tightly integrated into the Installation Center, thereby restricting the upgrade to occur only within the same year of SQL versions.

In the scenario where the goal is to upgrade from SQL Express 2014 to SQL Standard 2019, it’s important to note that this upgrade method is not compatible. Instead, a more effective approach involves setting up a new SQL instance with SQL Standard 2019 and transferring the environmental backup from SQL Express 2014 using the unarchive feature within SOLIDWORKS Electrical. If this latter method aligns with your situation, please note that the upgrade process discussed here does not apply. However, the installation of SQL will be addressed in a separate blog post.

Additionally, when transitioning to a newer SQL year, it’s imperative to verify its compatibility with the specific version of SOLIDWORKS Electrical you intend to utilize. To ensure seamless integration, I recommend referring to the SOLIDWORKS system requirements and accessing the ‘Microsoft/Apple Products Support Lifecycle’ section, where you’ll find a comprehensive compatibility table. This resource will assist in cross-referencing SQL versions with SOLIDWORKS Electrical to guarantee a harmonious and supported environment for your operations.

NOTE: Before initiating the upgrade, it’s essential to create an environment archive within SOLIDWORKS Electrical to safeguard your existing setup. Furthermore, ensure that you possess either the requisite product key from Microsoft or a developer license, as these are vital prerequisites for proceeding with the upgrade to SQL Standard. Without proper authorization in the form of a valid product key or developer license, the upgrade process to SQL Standard cannot be initiated.

Procedural Guidelines for Upgrading SQL Express to Standard in the Same Year:

  1. Initiate the process by accessing the Windows search bar located at the bottom of your screen. Search for “SQL Server (your current SQL year) Installation Centre (64-bit)” and click on the application to launch it.
  2. Once the Installation Center opens, direct your attention to the left panel and select the Maintenance Tab. Here, opt for ‘Edition Upgrade’ (refer to the accompanying image for visual guidance).
SQL Express Upgrade

SQL Express Upgrade

  1. Upon selecting the ‘Edition Upgrade’ option, a window titled ‘Upgrade the Edition for SQL Server’ will be displayed. In this window, you’ll be prompted to proceed by choosing either the ‘Developer’ option under ‘Specify a free edition,’ or alternatively, inputting your product key before advancing to the next step.
Enter the Product Key

Enter the Product Key

  1. After completing the previous step, proceed by clicking ‘Accept terms’ on the subsequent page, followed by selecting ‘Next.’ In the ‘Select Instance’ section, if your machine hosts multiple SQL instances, they will be displayed in a table format (refer to the image below for guidance). Choose the specific instance you wish to upgrade by marking the checkbox under ‘Specify the instance of SQL Server,’ then proceed by clicking ‘Next.
SQL Instances

SQL Instances

  1. With Step 4 concluded, you’re now prepared to initiate the upgrade process. Select the ‘Upgrade’ option and patiently await its completion.

Upon finishing the upgrade, a comprehensive summary will be presented, indicating whether the process has been successfully executed.

Need help to upgrade SQL Express to Standard?

Javelin provides a variety of SOLIDWORKS Electrical deployment services which include:

  • Installation of the SOLIDWORKS Electrical Server and Client software
  • Quick-start SOLIDWORKS Electrical Training for your group
  • Setup of industry-specific template(s) which include libraries of symbols, parts, reports, and configurations.
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Danish Butt