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How to: Connect to the Database Engine Using sqlcmd.exe

SQL Server supports client communication with the TCP/IP network protocol (the default), the named pipes protocol, and the VIA protocol. The shared memory protocol is also available if the client is connecting to an instance of the Database Engine on the same computer. There are three common methods of selecting the protocol. The protocol used by the sqlcmd utility is determined in the following order:

The following examples show various ways of connecting to the default instance of Database Engine on port 1433, and named instances of Database Engine presumed to be listening on port 1691. Some of these examples use the IP address of the loopback adapter (127.0.0.1). Test using the IP address of your computer network interface card.

Connect to the Database Engine by specifying the instance name:

sqlcmd -S ComputerA
sqlcmd -S ComputerA\instanceB

Connect to the Database Engine by specifying the IP address:

sqlcmd -S 127.0.0.1
sqlcmd -S 127.0.0.1\instanceB

Connect to the Database Engine by specifying the TCP\IP port number:

sqlcmd -S ComputerA,1433
sqlcmd -S ComputerA,1691
sqlcmd -S 127.0.0.1,1433
sqlcmd -S 127.0.0.1,1691

To connect using TCP/IP

  • Connect using the following general syntax:

    sqlcmd -S tcp:<computer name>,<port number>
    
  • Connect to the default instance:

    sqlcmd -S tcp:ComputerA,1433
    sqlcmd -S tcp:127.0.0.1,1433
    
  • Connect to a named instance:

    sqlcmd -S tcp:ComputerA,1691
    sqlcmd -S tcp:127.0.0.1,1691
    

To connect using named pipes

  • Connect using one of the following general syntax:

    sqlcmd -S np:\\<computer name>\<pipe name>
    
  • Connect to the default instance:

    sqlcmd -S np:\\ComputerA\pipe\sql\query
    sqlcmd -S np:\\127.0.0.1\pipe\sql\query
    
  • Connect to a named instance instance:

    sqlcmd -S np:\\ComputerA\pipe\MSSQL$<instancename>\sql\query
    sqlcmd -S np:\\127.0.0.1\pipe\MSSQL$<instancename>\sql\query
    

To connect using shared memory (a local procedure call) from a client on the server

  • Connect using one of the following general syntax:

    sqlcmd -S lpc:<computer name>
    
  • Connect to the default instance:

    sqlcmd -S lpc:ComputerA
    
  • Connect to a named instance:

    sqlcmd -S lpc:ComputerA\<instancename>
    

To connect using VIA

  • Connect using one of the following general syntax:

    sqlcmd -S via:<computer name>,<port number>,<NIC number>
    
  • Connect to the default instance:

    sqlcmd -S via:ComputerA,1433,0
    
  • Connect to a named instance:

    sqlcmd -S via:ComputerA,1691,0
    
Important noteImportant

The VIA protocol is deprecated. This feature will be removed in a future version of Microsoft SQL Server. Avoid using this feature in new development work, and plan to modify applications that currently use this feature.

NoteNote

If complete connection information is not provided, SQL Server Browser will provide connection information for the default port and NIC, if it is running.

NoteNote

This topic only discusses the connectivity options for the sqlcmd utility. There are many additional parameters available for the sqlcmd utility. For more information, see sqlcmd Utility.

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