After some googling, there seems to not have a straight forward answer to the question. MSDN Forum mentions it depends on CPU, Memory usage, database size etc. Could someone help explain or perhaps suggest an example to show why there are so many factors limiting the number of concurrent connection. Also how could one ever find out the maximum connection of an application?

  • OS determines no. of concurrent connections. SQL Server has default of max concurrent connections as select @@MAX_CONNECTIONS -- 32767 which is unlimited. For app. connections, you can use sys.dm_exec_connections and sys.dm_exec_sessions dmvs. Read :Connection Pooling for the SQL Server DBA
    – Kin Shah
    Oct 4 '16 at 17:23
  • I try to google concurrent connection for Windows 8.1 but find no answer whether in MSDN forum or microsoft website. Where do I find the relevant OS limitation?
    – KMC
    Oct 4 '16 at 17:30
  • AFAIK, There are no concurrent connections for windows 8. If this is a dev machine, why not use a server OS ?
    – Kin Shah
    Oct 4 '16 at 17:36
  • The application is run on client OS (Windows 8.1). There will be multiple instances of the same application connected to the same database. Hence the question...
    – KMC
    Oct 4 '16 at 17:59

So are so many factors because there are so many different types of loads. When it get loaded the only defense mechanism is to deny connections.

I you are looking for max connection you are looking for the wrong thing.

Design your application to be scalable - acquire the connection as late as possible and release the connection as soon as possible. A well designed application could have 100 active users and never have more than 10 active connections.


While there are several different types of restrictions in SQL Server Express, there are not any restrictions concerning the number of connections when compared to other SQL Server editions.

Notably, SQL Server by default has:

...maximum (32,767) user connections...

Any other limitation of connections will be

  1. Dictated by the application connecting to the database or
  2. Resource contention that causes SQL Server to be unable to handle adding more connections.

With proper connection pooling the hard upper limit should not be anywhere near the connections most applications require.

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