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Identifying a Data Source Using a Linked Server Name

SQL Server 2000

After a linked server is defined, a four-part name in the form linked_server_name.catalog.schema.object_name can be used in Transact-SQL statements to reference data objects in that linked server. The table describes the parts of a four-part name.

Part name Description
linked_server_name Linked server referencing the OLE DB data source
catalog Catalog in the OLE DB data source that contains the object
schema Schema in the catalog that contains the object
object_name Data object in the schema

Microsoft® SQL Server™ uses the linked server name to identify the OLE DB provider and the data source. The catalog, schema, and object_name parameters are passed to the OLE DB provider to identify a specific data object. When the linked server refers to an instance of SQL Server, catalog refers to a database and schema refers to an owner ID.

This illustration shows how a four-part SQL Server name resolves to an object in the OLE DB provider.

Always use fully qualified names when working with objects on linked servers. There is no support for implicit resolution to the dbo owner name for tables in linked servers. Because of this, a query without a schema name generates a 7314 error even when the linked server is another instance of SQL Server. SQL Server does not support full-text search over linked servers.

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