A Linked server is a virtual server that can be defined to SQL Server 2005 (and higher) with all the information required to access an OLE DB data source. A Linked server configuration enables SQL Server to execute commands against OLE DB data sources on remote servers. Linked servers provide a number of features: remote server access; the ability to issue distributed queries, updates, commands and transactions on heterogeneous data sources; the ability to address diverse data sources universally.
To create a new linked server:
- right-click the Linked Servers node (within the Server Objects branch) or any object within this node in the DB Explorer tree and select the New Linked Server item from the context menu;
- define linked server properties using the appropriate tabs of Linked Server Editor.
- select the Database | New Object... main menu item;
- select Linked Server in the Create New Object dialog;
- define linked server properties using Linked Server Editor.
Hint: To create a new linked server, you can also select the Services | Linked Servers main menu item to open the Linked servers manager and select the Add Linked Server item from the context menu or on the Navigation bar.
To create a new linked server with the same properties as one of existing linked servers has:
- select the Database | Duplicate Object... menu item;
- follow the instructions of Duplicate Object Wizard.
Alternatively, you can right-click a linked server in the DB Explorer tree and select the Duplicate Linked Server <linked_server_name>... context menu item.
Duplicate Object Wizard allows you to select the server to create a new linked server and to edit the result SQL statement for creating the linked server.
To edit an existing linked server:
- select the linked server for editing in the DB Explorer tree (type the first letters of the Linked Server name for quick search);
- right-click the object and select the Edit Linked Server <linked_server_name> context menu item, or simply double-click the linked server;
- edit linked server properties using the appropriate tabs of Linked Server Editor.
To drop a linked server:
- select the linked server to drop in the DB Explorer tree;
- right-click the object and select the Drop Linked Server <linked_server_name>... context menu item;
- confirm dropping in the dialog window.
Note: If more convenient, you can also use the following shortcuts:
Ctrl+N to create a new linked server;
Ctrl+O to edit the selected linked server;
Shift+Del to drop the object.
To create, edit and drop linked servers, you can also use the context menu and the Navigation bar of Linked servers manager.