How to set up your server for the Acctivate Connector

You will be provided with the IP address for our Acctivate Connector API.  This is the ONLY IP address that should be allowed through your firewall for our purposes. We very strongly advise against allowing all IP addresses.

Step 1: Set up your firewall

Set up your firewall to accept incoming requests and forward them to your MSSQL Server

  • Get the IP address for the Acctivate Connector.  You can find this information in your client portal or from Essi Support Staff
  • Select the port you want to use. You can use the MSSQL default port of 1433 or select any other port.
  • Set up a firewall rule to allow connections from the API connector’s IP address.  
  • Forward the selected port to the internal IP address of the server where your Acctivate SQL Server is installed.
  • NOTE: If you have multiple SQL Server instances, they must be on different ports so that your port forwarding rule hits the correct instance.

Step 2: Set up your SQL Server

Set up your MSSQL Server to accept remote connections

  • Run SQL Server Configuration Manager.
  • Go to SQL Server Network Configuration > Protocols for ACCTIVATE (or your instance name if it’s not ACCTIVATE).
  • Make sure TCP/IP is enabled.
  • Restart SQL Server service.
  • Add a Windows Firewall exception on the server for TCP ports 1433 and 1434 on the local subnet.

If you have problems setting up the MSSQL server or get a connection error when setting up your connection in Step 4, see the troubleshooting tips below. We can also assist you with the configuration over a remote connection to your workstation. Request assistance from your onboarding specialist at

Step 3: Create a database User in MSSQL

Create a user and login in MSSQL Server (not in Acctivate) and grant the proper permissions for your intended use.

  • Using either Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (which does not come pre-installed with Acctivate) or the command line, create a new user and login for the API to use. We recommend using something like essiapi so that you can easily recognize the user’s purpose in the future.
  • Grant the user SELECT permissions on the dbo schema or the Acctivate database for the correct company file.
  • If you plan on inserting or updating data in Acctivate through the API, grant the user EXECUTE permissions as well.
  • If needed, we can assist with this step over a remote connection to one of your Acctivate workstations.

Step 4: Set up your Essi Acctivate Connector account

You will set up your account and create API keys in our Essi Acctivate Connection Manager. If you don’t have your Essi account credentials or would like to add your network administrator, contact your onboarding specialist at

  • Visit
  • Sign in with your Essi client portal credentials.
  • Follow the steps in the wizard:
    • Step 1 – Create your account with a unique connection name.
    • Step 2 – Add the public network IP address or FQDN (fully qualified domain name) and port number
    • Step 3 – Test the connection to your MSSQL Server.
    • Step 4 – Add your database user and password and test the connection.
    • Step 5 – Select your Acctivate database
    • Step 6 – Get your API key and API secret
  • Let your onboarding specialist know that your account has been created.
  • If you are using the API for your own website or development, make sure to record the key and secret in a safe place. They cannot be retrieved once you leave the page.


If you are experiencing problems, try one of these suggestions:

Check TCP/IP Properties
Run SQL Server Configuration Manager.
Go to SQL Server Network Configuration > Protocols for SQLEXPRESS.
Make sure TCP/IP is enabled.
Right-click on TCP/IP and select Properties.
Verify that, under IP2, the IP Address is set to the computer’s IP address on the local subnet.
Scroll down to IPAll.
Make sure that TCP Dynamic Ports is blank. (It may be set to a 5-digit port number.)
Make sure that TCP Port is set to 1433. (It may be blank.)
Check for other MSSQL Server Instances
If the Acctivate MSSQL Server instance is not the only instance, it might be necessary to UNASSIGN port 1433 on other instances or assign this instance to a different port.  Otherwise, the router will only direct traffic to the default instance.Start the SQL Server Browser service
Start the SQL Server Browser service
Some users have found that it helps to start the SQL Server Browser service. We’ve not run into a situation that required this, but if all else fails, it might be a good next thing to try!
Request assistance with your connection
If all else fails, we can help you with your firewall or MSSQL settings over a remote connection. Contact your onboarding specialist at to set up an appointment.