Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Testing Connectivity to SQL Using UDL Files

I frequently have to test connectivity between a client (or an app server) and a database server. Usually, I configure an ODBC link, but there is an easier way: create a UDL file.

If you create a file with the extension .udl, then double click, you can create a link using any registered provider and give the usual authentication option. Then just click 'Test'!

The file is portable, so can be used to check connectivity from multiple servers.

For more details, see the excellent video on SQL Share

21/1/2011 Update: To connect to an instance using a specific port use the syntax: SERVER_NAME\INSTANCE_NAME,PORT. This might be useful when testing connections across a firewall, when you haven't allowed connectivity to SQL Browser.

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