Unable to Connect to SQL Server Embedded edition Instance Used by SharePoint

On one of the servers, we started receiving alerts related to SQL Server instance MICROSOFT##SSEE. DBAs were not aware of this SQL Server instance as none of the DBAs have installed it on the server. We tried to connect to this SQL Server instance from SQL Server Management Studio, but it returned below error.

Cannot connect to SERVER\MICROSOFT##SSEE.
A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 – Error Locating Server/Instance Specified) (.Net SqlClient Data Provider)

After a quick search, found that this instance is related to Windows Internal Database. SSEE refers to SQL Server Embedded edition as well in previous versions. This is generally gets installed and used by Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS).

At times, there can be requirement to connect to this particular instance to manage or administer using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) by DBAs, however we cannot connect to it using TCP/IP or SharedMemory protocols, we would need to use NamePipes to connect to this instance.

We will need to use the below name in the server name box in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

If you do not have SQL Server Management Studio installed on the system, then best way to go would be to download and install SQL Server Express Edition Management Studio (SSMS). Once installed, we can use the above mentioned command to connect to this instance and administer it if required.

What is Windows Internal Database?
Windows Internal Database is a relational data store used by the following applications and services.
Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS)
Windows Server Update Services
Windows System Resource Manager

These applications and services share a single instance of the data store. Windows Internal Database is installed by the first application or service that requires it. Because multiple applications and services use the same instance of Windows Internal Database, removing these applications and services does not remove the data store. If you have removed all applications and services that use Windows Internal Database, you can then remove it by using the Server Manager Remove Features Wizard.

This is applicable on below versions of SQL Server

SQL Server 2005
SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2012
SQL Server 2014

Hope this was helpful.

SQLServerF1 Team
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