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Tips ‘N’ Tricks – SSMS – Save Your Frequently Used Servers and Databases

17 May

As part of our day-to-day project related activities, we work with pretty much same servers for different purposes like Development, Test, UAT, and Production etc. And when there are multiple servers in each environment or when the server names are difficult to remember or in any case, it would be very handy if we could save the set of server or databases to which we connect very frequently. And SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), offers a great feature called Registered Servers to address this very requirement of saving your frequently used servers and databases.

To open the Registered Servers window in SSMS, go to View | Registered Servers. Alternatively, you can also press Ctrl+Alt+G. In the Registered Servers window, you can register the following different types of servers/connections:

  • Database Servers
  • Integration Services
  • Analysis Services Servers
  • Reporting Services Servers
  • SQL Server Compact

When you right-click on the Local Server Groups under Database Engine (in case of registering Database Servers), you get options to perform various operations as shown in the below screenshot.

As you can see in the above screenshot, there are various features like Registering a Server, Creating Server Groups (allows you to group your servers as shown in the below screenshot), Import your previously registered servers (registered on a different computer and saved to file using Export option), and Export your currently registered servers, which you can import into SSMS on a different computer and so on.

As you can see in the above screenshot, you can create different groups based on your environments, or any other logical way of grouping which is convenient for you, and add/register multiple servers under each group. This comes in handy especially when you are working on different modules or when working with different servers.

For each Registered Server/Server Group, you can give provide additional information in the form of description.

Below are the very familiar New Server Group creation and New Server Registration windows.

General Details

Connection Properties

Following are the advantages offered by using Registered Servers feature of SQL Server Management Studio:

  • Allows storing/preserving the connection information of different servers and databases.
  • Allows quickly connecting to a registered server in Object Explorer by just double clicking on a Registered Server in the Registered Servers window.
  • Many Registered Servers can be grouped into different logical Server Groups to make it easy to manage them especially when dealing with huge number of servers.
  • Status of a server (Registered Server) can be easily checked to see if the server is running or not.
  • User friendly Names and additional information in the form of Description can be provided.
  • Export and Import the registered servers across different environments making it more easy and convenient to work with same set of Registered Servers on different computers.

This article is based on SSMS 2008/2008 R2.

Take a look at the other Tips and Tricks in this Series on Tips, Tricks, Techniques, and Shortcuts to Improve Productivity, and Design and Coding Skills.

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