Using an User Instance on a local SQL Server Express instance using Microsoft.Data.SqlClient

Connection string

This Microsoft SqlClient Data Provider for SQL Server connection string can be used for connections to SQL Server 2019, SQL Server 2017, SQL Server 2016, SQL Server 2014, SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2005.

The User Instance functionality creates a new SQL Server instance on the fly during connect. This works only on a local SQL Server instance and only when connecting using windows authentication over local named pipes. The purpose is to be able to create a full rights SQL Server instance to a user with limited administrative rights on the computer.

Data Source=.\SQLExpress;Integrated Security=true;
User Instance=true;

To use the User Instance functionality you need to enable it on the SQL Server. This is done by executing the following command: sp_configure 'user instances enabled', '1'. To disable the functionality execute sp_configure 'user instances enabled', '0'.