A client is a front-end application that uses the services provided by a server. The computer that hosts the application is referred to as the client computer. Client software enables computers to connect to an instance of Microsoft® SQL Server™ on a network.
SQL Server clients can include applications of various types, such as:
- OLE DB consumers.
These applications use the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server or the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC to connect to an instance of SQL Server. The OLE DB providers serve as intermediaries between SQL Server and client applications that consume SQL Server data as OLE DB rowsets.
- ODBC applications.
These include client utilities installed with SQL Server, such as SQL Server Enterprise Manager and SQL Query Analyzer, as well as other applications that use the SQL Server ODBC driver to connect to an instance of SQL Server.
- DB-Library clients.
These include the SQL Server isql command prompt utility and clients written to DB-Library.
Regardless of the type of application, managing a client consists mainly of configuring its connection with the server components of SQL Server. Depending on the requirements of your site, client management can range from little more than entering the name of the server computer to building a library of custom configuration entries to accommodate a diverse multiserver environment.
Simple Client Management
For the majority of clients, the default network configuration installed during SQL Server Setup can be used without modification. For those clients to be able to connect, you need only supply the network name of the server running one or more instances of SQL Server. For ODBC clients, you may need to provide the client with the ODBC data source name and know how to configure an ODBC data source.
Advanced Client Management
Advanced users can create and save individual network protocol configurations. This is useful in situations where SQL Server clients are connecting to multiple servers running different network protocols, or where unique site considerations, such as nonstandard port addresses, are used.
Before Configuring a Client
Before configuring a SQL Server client:
- You must install a matching pair of SQL Server Net-Libraries on the client and server. By default, all of the SQL Server client Net-Libraries and server Net-Libraries are installed automatically during the Setup program. Each pair of Net-Libraries supports a particular network protocol (for example, the client TCP/IP Sockets Net-Library and server TCP/IP Sockets Net-Library support TCP/IP). Some SQL Server server Net-Libraries (such as NW Link IPX/SPX) should be activated to listen for clients, either during or after setup, using the SQL Server Network Utility.
- You must install the correct network protocols on the client and server. Network protocols are typically installed during Microsoft Windows® Setup; they are not part of SQL Server Setup or configuration. A SQL Server Net-Library will not work unless its corresponding network protocol is installed already on both the client and server.
Client Management Tools
The following tools are used to manage most types of SQL Server clients:
- Client Network Utility lets you change the default network protocols, and create and save entries that define how to connect to specified servers.
The application is installed as part of the standard SQL Server client setup. SQL Server Client Network Registration creates registry entries for the client network protocol configurations and default network protocol. You do not use the application to install either the SQL Server Net-Libraries or the network protocols.
- The Setup program and SQL Server Network Library Configuration let you select and activate server Net-Libraries (all the client and server Net-Libraries are installed during setup).
Activating a server Net-Library allows SQL Server to listen for clients on the corresponding network protocol. The actual network protocols are installed as part of Windows Setup (or through Networks in Control Panel).
- The ODBC Data Source Administrator (available through ODBC in Control Panel) lets you configure ODBC data sources on computers running the Microsoft Windows NT® 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows 95, or Windows 98 operating system.