While aiming to test whether a SQL connection is succeeding between an Application server and a remote Database Server, it is often not possible to install SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) or Microsoft Command Line Utilities (MsSqlCmdLnUtils) due to the locked down nature of the targets, particularly in test and production environments.
A lightweight approach that worked for me recently, makes use of components that have been a part of windows boxes for a long time, albeit different levels of database driver support as the components have evolved, the Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC).
MDAC provide a Universal Data Link, which can be configured using a common user interface for specifying connection properties as well as testing the connection.
Data Link properties dialog box
Get started – Create a simple text file• Simply create a .txt file anywhere on your system
- rename the extension to .udl
• Double click the Universal Data Link file (.udl)
We are then presented with the Data Link Properties dialog, which will look very familiar.
Using either Windows Integrated Security or a specific Username / Password combination the connection to the database can be tested.
You can also save your configuration settings you have applied by just selecting ‘OK’ on the properties dialog, useful for reoccurring scenarios, more complex configurations or just as a handy utility for future reference.
Using this approach, i was able to determine very quickly that the password for a test environment database had been changed in just a few minutes.