Starting SQL Server Management Studio

To begin this tutorial, let's take a look at SQL Server Management Studio.

To open SQL Server Management Studio

  1. On the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and then click SQL Server Management Studio.


    SQL Server Management Studio is not installed by default. If Management Studio is unavailable, install it by running Setup. Management Studio is not available with SQL Server Express. Management Studio Express is available as a free download from the Microsoft Download Center.

  2. In the Connect to Server dialog box, verify the default settings, and then click Connect. To connect, the Server name box must contain the name of the computer where SQL Server is installed. If the Database Engine is a named instance, the Server name box should also contain the instance name in the format <computer_name>\<instance_name>.

Management Studio presents information in windows dedicated to specific types of information. Database information is shown in Object Explorer and document windows.

  • Object Explorer is a tree view of all the database objects in a server. This can include the databases of the SQL Server Database Engine, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Integration Services, and SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP1. Object Explorer includes information for all servers to which it is connected. When you open Management Studio, you are prompted to connect Object Explorer to the settings that were last used. You can double-click any server in the Registered Servers component to connect to it, but you do not have to register a server to connect.

  • The document window is the largest portion of Management Studio. The document windows can contain query editors and browser windows. By default, the Summary page is displayed, connected to the instance of Database Engine on the current computer.

Users familiar with the SQL Server Enterprise Manager of SQL Server 2000 may wish to show the Registered Servers window.

To show the Registered Servers window

  1. On the View menu, click Registered Servers.

    The Registered Servers window appears above Object Explorer. Registered Servers lists servers which you manage frequently. You can add and remove servers from this list. If SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Manager was previously installed on this computer, you will be prompted to import the list of registered servers. Otherwise, the only servers listed are the SQL Server instances on the computer where you are running Management Studio.

  2. If your server does not appear, in Registered Servers, right-click Database Engine, and then click Update Local Server Registration.

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