This must be documented somewhere but I'm not finding any good documentation on what SIM does when you install Sitecore 8.2 with it.

I understand it creates a new web root folder on your local computer.

But where does it create the databases? Does SIM always just put them on your local computer's SQL Server Instance?

1 Answer 1


SIM copies the database files (all the .MDFs and .LDFs) into your \[webroot]\Databases folder, then uses the SQL Server connection string specified in your SIM settings (see image below) to attach the database files to your SQL Server instance and updates your ConnectionStrings.config file to point to that specified instance.

Since SIM does an attach action on the MDF and LDF files to the SQL Server instance, the SQL Server instance will need to be local the the machine that SIM is running on (or at least have access to the MDF/LDF files in the Databasesfolder) in order for the SQL Server to perform the attach process.

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  • Thank you George. So does SIM only work with installing/attaching the DB's to a local SQL Server? (onto the machine running SIM) Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 17:55
  • Yes, SIM is intended for installing in local development environments. Are you trying to install databases onto a separate SQL Server? Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 21:00
  • George, I guess that makes sense, but at the same time it's fairly common in other domains to dev locally against a remote Dev DB - so it was a little unexpected. Could you please edit your answer to include the fact that SIM will only install the DB's to a local DB server? Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 22:07
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    Sure thing - I do have to say that Sitecore doesn't do so great with shared databases as you often have custom development assets stored in the content tree and therefore the database. I would recommend hosting your own instance of the Sitecore databases for local development purposes. Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 0:03

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