Database connection with MSSQL

I am trying to set up Ignition database connection with MSSQL. However, I kept getting this communication error message below after I checked my firewall, enabled TCP/IP setting on the SQLEXPRESS I set up...etc.
Cannot create PoolableConnectionFactory (The TCP/IP connection to the host localhost, port 1433 has failed. Error: "Connection refused: connect. Verify the connection properties, check that an instance of SQL Server is running on the host and accepting TCP/IP connections at the port, and that no firewall is blocking TCP connections to the port.".)

I am not sure if this issue can come from drivers being outdated or not, but just to provide more background on my environment. I am using Windows 11, Ignition 8.1.28, and SSMS 19.1.

I would appreciate a word of advice on at least where to start looking to fix this error. Thanks.

First double check TCP/IP are still enabled for protocols for SQLEXPRESS(you need to restart the service after setting this also). I've noticed that sometimes you have to be an administrator to fully enable TCP/IP. I'd also verify SQL server browser is running, this can all be done in the SQL Server Configuration Manager. Is this database local to the Ignition gateway or on another system?

It's a local database. I will enable TCP/IP as an administrator then see if my Ignition gateway can see it.

This is the way.