James, Andrew Fryer (new SQL/BI Evangelist) and I were helping a charity to implement some infrastructure yesterday when we encountered the following error:
"Failed to create the configuration database. An exception of type System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException was thrown."
At the time we were installing Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 which is a free download for Windows Server 2003.
The main installation itself worked perfectly well but the automated configuration system failed to create the database.
I searched the Internet seeking an answer to the problem. As is sometimes the case I found other people reporting the same problem but couldn't find the answer.
We persevered and found that removing a program named "Windows Internal Database" via "Add/Remove Programs" after de-installing Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 (by re-running the install program) and going for a clean install and taking the "Basic" option instead of "Advanced" as we'd tried previously resolved the problem.
Having overcome the problem we went on to use Sharepoint Services in conjunction with Windows Server 2003's Internet Information Server (IIS) and Active Directory (AD) to host a series of websites - one per user - that they could use to easily host their own content. We created an account in the AD Domain for each user and set the website permissions such that only the appropriate users could access the content.