Cannot Connect to SQL Server on a Windows 7 Workstation

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Under certain circumstances with Windows 7 workstations, you may need to create an Outbound Rule that allows the application to connect to the SQL server. If outbound connections are restricted at a workstation, the program may not be able to connect to the SQL server.

Changing firewall settings on a workstation should be done carefully and taking security needs and policies into consideration. We strongly recommend that this be done at the direction of your IT personnel. For example, enabling all outbound connections for a profile will allow the application to connect to the SQL server, but at the same time creating potential security risks since now all outbound traffic is allowed from this workstation.

Generally, the recommended solution is to make a new outbound rule, creating an exception for the program file:

Note: For 64-bit machines, browse to C:\Program Files (x86)\Creative Solutions and the appropriate application folder.

The following steps will give general guidance. There may be situations (e.g., group policies are enforced at the domain level) where you may need to consult a qualified IT technician to appropriately implement these suggestions.

  1. Go to the Windows Firewall in Control Panel on any Windows 7 workstations affected.
  2. Click on the Advanced Settings link. The following screen will appear:

  3. Confirm which of the three firewall profiles is Active (Domain, Private, or Public). This profile will need to specify either that "Outbound connections that do not match a rule are allowed" or if outbound connections are shown as blocked, then an exception for the Practice CS program file must be made.
  4. If a program exception must be made, click the Outbound Rules link on the screen.
  5. Right-click the Outbound Rules option, and then choose "New Rule."

  6. In the New Outbound Rule Wizard window, choose to create a Program rule and click Next. In the next screen, browse to the following file:
    C:\Program Files\Creative Solutions\Practice CS\<version>\CreativeSolutions.Practice.exe
    C:\Program Files\Creative Solutions\Accounting CS\AccountingCS.exe
    and click Next again.

    Note: When creating the program exception on a 64-bit Windows operating system, the application path may use the "Program Files (x86)" directory instead of "Program Files."
  7. Choose Allow the Connection and click Next.
  8. Choose any profiles that this rule should apply to (typically this will be all profiles listed except Public) and click Next.
  9. Assign name: "Practice CS Application" or "Accounting CS Application" and click Finish.

See also: Windows Firewall configuration for SQL applications in CS Professional Suite

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