I wrote this page in hopes of helping others facing the challenge I did in getting an E-Notebook 12.0 server up and running

Perkin Elmer (Cambdridgesoft) doesn't do a good job of helping with this one, at least online:

an error occurred while openinng a client connection: while setting up connection to central database. An error occurred while executing the SQL"Open": login timeout expired.
An error has occurred while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server 2005, this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default setings SQL Server does not allow remote connections. SQL Network Interfaces: Error Locating Server/Instance Specified [xFFFFFFF].

Symptoms: System works fine locally, on the host system. Remote connection attempts return (after a substantial delay and getting stuck on the "Authenticating User..." status message) the above message, but you can get everything to work remotely if you disable the firewall on the server system.

Solution: You need to add exceptions to the firewall for SQLServer 2005, which E-Notebook uses extensively. You need an exception for both the server itself (to have things work at all) and for the server browser service (to allow new remote computers to find and set up E-Notebook for the first time). Microsoft has a nice explanation of how to do it:


Note that you also get this error message when the client machine can not reach the host for any reason, including looking in the wrong place. Your SqlConfig.xml file must be pointing to the right place, a place that makes sense to a non-local machine! (Something like C: will have the client looking on its own hard drive...) But if it is correct, the tricky bit can be getting through the host firewall. Simply turning off the host firewall when testing can confirm that it is the cause of the problem.

That is all! (I'd have added this to the Perkin Elmer forums if they let me, but the only message on this topic had been archived to text!)