I downloaded the free SQL Server Developer Edition in hopes of being able to use SQL Server for my Visual studio project, but I can't seem to understand how to connect it. :(

In my SQL Management Studio I never received login credentials to log in with, for the server named LAPTOPXXXX/OwnerName, so I can't connect through SQL Authentication in Visual Studio. Nor is there a create new credentials option anywhere to be found. Also when trying to connect to the server using my computer name or IP address it also fails to connect to the server I downloaded.

How do I make log in credentials for my free server and how do I connect it using like a web.config or app.config file's connectionstring (but winforms version)?

  • Did you install the full SQL Server Developer Edition? Or just SQL Server Management Studio? If you installed the full Developer Edition you would have specified the login type (Windows or SQL) when you installed it. Have you tried connecting with Windows Authentication? Jan 10, 2018 at 14:06
  • It depends on wich technologie are you using. Have a look at this answers. stackoverflow.com/q/3357374/3270427
    – McNets
    Jan 10, 2018 at 14:07
  • I installed full SQL Server Developer Edition and had to restart my computer. I also have SQL Management Studio ahead of time. I have not tried connecting with Windows Authentication, I'll try it now Jan 10, 2018 at 14:07
  • @MarkSinkinson when I try to connect with Windows Authentication, why doesn't the database I created pop up in the 'select a database' drop down? Should I just use the master? Jan 10, 2018 at 14:09
  • @McNets I actually looked at that stackoverflow post before posting here, I mentioned that I didn't have the username and password and am not sure where I'd post the SqlConnection instance in my code Jan 10, 2018 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


1) Create an application user for your app on the SQL Server instance. Never use an administrative user or SA.

2) Create a DSN (Data source Name) on the machine that the app will connect to the SQL Server database. This applies even if the two are on the same machine (which would be poor architecture, but possible in a solitary dev environment).

2a) The login credentials for this DSN should be the app's user in SQL Server

3) Go to ConnectionStrings.com and generate a SQL connection string based on the DSN you just made. (https://www.connectionstrings.com/dsn/)

4) Use the connection string in your app/web config and reference it in the SQLConnection call.

  • Why do you need a DSN? Jan 10, 2018 at 15:51
  • The problem is I don't know how to create an application user for my LAPTOP-XXX/Owner server since it didn't give me a username and password to use, there is no option in Management Studio to create user account for that server to be able to use SQL Authentication instead Jan 10, 2018 at 16:24
  • @Mr.Brownstone a DSN allows you to enter the App user's credentials into the DSN, instead of in plain text in the Connection String itself. This mitigates risk of your UN/PW being exposed via the App/Web Config files.
    – SQLDevDBA
    Jan 10, 2018 at 16:49
  • @springathing Go to Security->Logins->Create new login. You'll have the option to use Windows or SQL Server Authentication there.
    – SQLDevDBA
    Jan 10, 2018 at 16:50
  • The OP is using Windows Authentication which can be passed without the need for a DSN. Also you can encrypt the connection string if you were to use SQL Authentication. Jan 10, 2018 at 17:00

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