Named and Unnamed SQL Instances for use with SOLIDWORKS Electrical

This article gives information on the use of named and unnamed SQL instances with SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

The default SQL edition that comes with SOLIDWORKS Electrical is SQL Express. Here, the SQL instance will be named by default. However, when using a manually installed instance of full SQL (Standard, Enterprise, etc.), the instance can be named or unnamed, depending on the options chosen during installation. If named, the instance must be referenced in SWE using the format: ServerName\InstanceName. If unnamed, the format is simply: ServerName.

SOLIDWORKS strongly recommends always using a separate named SQL instance for SWE, as per Knowledge Base article S-065544. The following are the reasons why this is recommended.

  • Checking in projects to an Enterprise PDM vault can fail if SWE uses an unnamed instance.
  • Server installations can fail to create all databases if not installed to a named instance.
  • It keeps all SWE databases self-contained in their instance.
  • It avoids performance issues and interferences with other software using the same instance.
  • It allows the creation and utilization of SWE login and permissions schemas.
  • A server can only have one unnamed SQL instance at a time. If it becomes corrupted or has a critical failure, everything in that instance can be lost.
  • Named instances allow for SQL Server version flexibility and for multiple instances to coexist. This allows for separate backups, so that if there is a critical failure, there may only be a partial data loss.


For instructions on manually installing a SQL instance for use with SWE, refer to our article: Manual SQL Instance Installation Guide For SOLIDWORKS Electrical

For further assistance, please contact our HawkSupport team at 877-266-4469(US) or 866-587-6803(Canada) and

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