Ear Works has a client/server architecture which is detailed in this article.
In order for the system to work properly, the client (front-end) needs to communicate with the server (back-end or database). Sometimes the firewall on the server machine prohibits this communication and you have to explicitly allow that. This is called an exception.
Setting an exception in the Windows firewall for the EW server can be tricky, depending on the operating system. Here's a step-by-step guide:
1. open Windows Firewall. In Windows 7/Vista you will see an option to "Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall". Click it.
2. On next window click "Allow another program..."
3. browse to the sql server exe file for your EW server installation.
You should be able to find it in a folder that looks something like this C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.EARWORKS\MSSQL\Binn
Depending on your installation it could be Program Files (x86) instead of Program Files or MSSQL10 instead of MSSQL10_50 or EW4 (or any other similar instance name) instead of EARWORKS. You should however be able to quickly identify this folder. In this folder look for a program called sqlservr.exe. Select it and click Open.
Then click Add in the previous window (at this point you'll see the program as SQL Server Windows NT).
4. Once added you'll see the application in the list of allowed programs. Check off Home/Work (Private) if your network is properly set as private. If your internal network is set as public you'll have to check off Public as well.
5. Now repeat the same thing for the SQL Server Browser. For 64 bit systems the program can be found in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Shared\sqlbrowser.exe while for 32 bit systems the location is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Shared\sqlbrowser.exe.
6. You're done. The exceptions seem to kick in only after you restart Windows Firewall. So feel free to turn it off, wait for 10 seconds, and then turn it back on. The connection should now be allowed.