How to Test a Database Connection String using NotePad

Create and Configure a Universal Data Link (.udl) File with Notepad.
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I just came across a way to test a data providers connection string (like a SQL Server database) with the help of a plain text file using Notepad.  To investigate and test out if your connection string works, your going to want to create a UDL file. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open up Notepad and create an empty text file, then click File -> click Save -> and  save it with the File name: TestConnection.udl to your desktop.
  2. Go to your desktop and double-click on the TestConnection.udl file you just created and the Data Link Properties box will popup.
  3. Select the Provider tab and Find the provider that you want to connect with and click Next >>.
  4. Now from the Connection tab, select or enter your source/ server name -> then enter information to log on to server -> and select the database on the server. 
  5. Click Test Connection and click OK to save the file.

Note: If errors occur during testing of your connection string, you will get a popup box with the error message.

Once, you've successfully tested your connection string, now go and compare the details of your TestConnection.udl with your (website) project connection string to see if they are similiar.

 



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16 Comments

anonymous by Ed Carter on 4/15/2011
This was very, very helpful. Consider SQL Server Management Studio connects with any SQL Server database like there is no problem. Then you build your connection string and discover you have to use odbc to connect to SQL Server 2000. This approach showed me that even though I did not even specify odbc at the beginning. Cool!
anonymous by Dennis O'Brien on 5/4/2011
Very useful article. Needed to test a connection string to mirrored SQL Server 2008 databases and this procedure worked very well. Thanks!
anonymous by Reza Ghorbani on 5/23/2012
Great and to the point. Thanks a million.
anonymous by path on 8/17/2012
Thanks so so much. Very Usefull article
anonymous by RT on 11/12/2012
THANK YOU! I have been looking for something like this for awhile.
anonymous by Simon on 1/5/2013
Really great :) worked
anonymous by cymonesays on 1/27/2013
OMG... the absolute best. Too easy, thanks a million!!!
anonymous by Rand on 3/2/2013
This is brilliant! Thank you very much
anonymous by Raj on 3/11/2014
thanku,,,!
anonymous by AL on 9/13/2014

Thanks

anonymous by Mazin on 1/12/2015
really you make my day wonderful
anonymous by Vaibhav on 1/19/2015
very quick way to create the conenction string
anonymous by Matthew on 1/28/2015

That's amazing!! I never knew of this file type before. SO good! you're awesome sir! Thank you!

anonymous by Pedro on 4/17/2015

Didn't know this tool. Cool!

anonymous by Ftlie on 5/22/2015

Even better, just make an empty file, and it will help you create the string :-)

anonymous by Chaoix 3 weeks ago

This is a great tip. Saved me a ton of time debugging.

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