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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions.

Quick Database Connectivity Testing


Ever find yourself needing to test connectivity, but you’re on a machine with no client tools? It happens to me occasionally. Here’s one trick to help:

UDL files

Right-click on the Windows Desktop, hover over New, and click Text Document:

Rename the file to test.udl:

Because you are changing the extension, you will be prompted:

Click Yes. Double-click the test.udl file to open the Data Link Properties window. Enter (or select) the server name, select integrated security or SQL Login and provide credentials, then select or enter a database name:

Click the Test Connection button to test connectivity:


There you have it – a way to test connectivity without database client tools installed!


Published Friday, August 26, 2011 1:00 PM by andyleonard

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Chuck Rummel said:

Another way I've used before on web servers is to set up a new ODBC connection.  You can use the Test Connection button and then delete the connection you just created.

August 27, 2011 11:12 PM

Christian Nitz said:

There are these other possibilities for the outcome of the test step:

1: Microsoft Data Link Error

"Test connection failed because of an error in initializing provider.[DBNETLIB][ConnectionOpen(Connect()).]SQL Server does not exist or access denied."

In my experience this is never actually access denied, and is always a connectivity problem. (firewall, port, ip, etc.)

2: Microsoft Data Link Error

"Test connection failed because of an error in ititializing provider. Login failed for user '<username>'."

In contrast to the other error message, this one does indicate access was denied while the connection itself was successful.

August 29, 2011 2:31 PM

Robert L Davis said:

Very handy! I have a VBS script that I use for this, but this is much simpler!

September 12, 2011 11:18 AM

kaka said:

Thanks a lot, you have helped me.

June 21, 2012 7:10 AM

Jane said:

Fantastic. Thank you.

September 14, 2012 6:28 AM

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