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Sardar Mudassar Ali Khan
Sardar Mudassar Ali Khan

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How to create and configure a linked server in SQL Server Management Studio

Configuring a linked server in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) involves a few steps, and the process can vary depending on the databases you want to link. Here's a complex example of setting up a linked server between two SQL Server instances:


  1. Access: Ensure you have appropriate access rights to both SQL Server instances.
  2. Network Configuration: The SQL Server instances should be accessible over the network.
  3. SQL Server Management Studio: Have SSMS installed and open.

Steps to Create and Configure a Linked Server:

Step 1: Launch SSMS and Connect

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. Connect to the SQL Server instance where you want to create the linked server.

Step 2: Create a Linked Server

  1. In Object Explorer, expand "Server Objects" and right-click on "Linked Servers."
  2. Choose "New Linked Server." This opens the "New Linked Server" dialog box.

Step 3: Configure General Properties

  1. General Tab:
    • Linked server: Provide a name for the linked server (e.g., LinkedServerName).
    • Server type: Choose "SQL Server" from the dropdown.
    • Provider: Select "Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server."
    • Product Name: Enter the version of the SQL Server you're linking to (e.g., "SQL Server").

Step 4: Configure Security

  1. Security Tab:
    • Choose the security options based on how you want to authenticate:
      • If using Windows Authentication: Select "Be made using the login's current security context."
      • If using SQL Server Authentication: Choose "Be made using this security context" and provide the remote server's login credentials.

Step 5: Configure Server Options

  1. Server Options Tab:
    • You can set various options here. For instance, you might want to enable RPC and RPC Out if you intend to execute remote stored procedures or run distributed queries.

Step 6: Test the Connection

  1. After configuring the necessary settings, click "OK" to create the linked server.
  2. Expand the "Linked Servers" node in SSMS Object Explorer to view your newly created linked server.
  3. Right-click on the linked server and choose "Test Connection" to ensure it connects successfully.

Step 7: Use the Linked Server

  1. You can now use the linked server in queries by referencing it in four-part notation:
   SELECT * FROM LinkedServerName.DatabaseName.Schema.TableName
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Additional Notes:

  • Ensure that proper firewall settings allow connectivity between the servers.
  • Test the linked server thoroughly to ensure data retrieval and query execution function as expected.
  • Depending on your specific use case, additional configurations might be necessary, such as setting up distributed transactions or adjusting server options.

Remember, linked servers can introduce complexities related to performance and security. It's essential to evaluate and monitor their usage carefully.

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