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Connect to Server (Database Engine)

Topic Status: Some information in this topic is preview and subject to change in future releases. Preview information describes new features or changes to existing features in Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Community Technology Preview 2 (CTP2).

Use this dialog to view or specify options when connecting to Microsoft SQL Server Database Engine. In most cases, you can connect by entering the computer name of the database server in the Server name box and then clicking Connect. If you are connecting to SQL Server Express, use the computer name followed by \sqlexpress.

Many factors can affect your ability to connect to SQL Server.

Server type

When registering a server from Object Explorer, select the type of server to connect to: Database Engine, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, or Integration Services. The rest of the dialog shows only the options that apply to the selected server type. When registering a server from Registered Servers, the Server type box is read-only, and matches the type of server displayed in the Registered Servers component. To register a different type of server, select Database Engine, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, SQL Server Compact, or Integration Services from the Registered Servers toolbar before starting to register a new server.

Server name

Select the server instance to connect to. The server instance last connected to is displayed by default.

Note Note

To connect to an active user instance of SQL Server Express connect using named pipes protocol specifying the pipe name, such as np:\\.\pipe\3C3DF6B1-2262-47\tsql\query For more information, see the SQL Server Express documentation.

Authentication

Three authentication modes are available when connecting to an instance of the Database Engine.

Windows Authentication

Microsoft Windows Authentication mode allows a user to connect through a Windows user account.

SQL Server Authentication

When a user connects with a specified login name and password from a non-trusted connection, SQL Server performs the authentication itself by checking to see if a SQL Server login account has been set up and if the specified password matches the one previously recorded. If SQL Server does not have a login account set, authentication fails, and the user receives an error message.

Security note Security Note

When possible, use Windows Authentication or Active Directory Password Authentication.

Active Directory Password Authentication

Azure Active Directory Authentication is a mechanism of connecting to Microsoft Azure SQL Database by using identities in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). This feature is under development in SQL Database. For more information, see Active Directory Password Authentication.

User name

The Windows user name to connect with. This option is only available if you have selected to connect using Active Directory Password Authentication. It is read-only when you selecting Windows Authentication.

Login

Enter the login to connect with. This option is only available if you have selected to connect using SQL Server Authentication or or Active Directory Password Authentication.

Password

Enter the password for the login. This option is only editable if you have selected to connect using SQL Server Authentication or or Active Directory Password Authentication.

Connect

Click to connect to the server selected above.

Options

Click to display additional server connection options, such as registering a server and remembering the password.

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