And for just some additional info concerning default instance on an SQL Server versus named instances on an SQL Server and how they relate to the SQL Server Browser service:
When installing the default instance of SQL Server, the SQL Server Browser is disabled, as it isn’t needed.
When installing a named instance of SQL Server, the SQL Server Browser is enabled, as it is responsible for binding the connection to the TCP port the named instance uses. Note that named instances of SQL Server use dynamic TCP ports, so running the SQL Server Browser is highly recommended (to say the least).
With that said concerning this service and how it relates to default and named instances, it is unusual to see this when dealing with SQL Server...meaning again, that is what this service is all about. In addition, and as named instances use dynamic TCP ports, entering “servername:port” in the connection string could break TMSPE the next time the database engine service is restarted, as the database engine service could be assigned a different TCP port.
So in short, and IMHO, I would believe a large amount of SQL DB Admins would want to utilize the SQL Server Browser service and forget all about ports, and this is what I would recommend as well.
Now as far as the TMS Appliance goes, and as you point out, the TMS Appliance utilizes a the light version of SQL Server 2005, i.e. SQL Server 2005 Express. And the TMS Appliance utilizes the default instance...meaning the SQL Server Browser service is disabled.
So my opinion/thoughts about this isn't necessarily that the TMSPE installer needs to be more robust in detecting the SQL server, but maybe more about what is the difference between a default instance of SQL and a named instance of SQL and/or general knowledge of MS SQL...meaning our documentation should maybe link people to MS SQL information of interest, when and if necessary. But our documentation shouldn't 'copy and paste' MS SQL type topics...if you see my point of view? So in short, and since TMS core has been out in the wild for 10+ years using SQL, I reckon when we released TMSPE that we expected customers and partners to have SQL knowledge and/or experience since that is what TMS core has been using for quite some time
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