Connecting to SQL database through Sql Server Management Studio

Posted by in Sql Server category on for Beginner level | Points: 250 | Views : 4138 red flag

This article is initial step which helps the Beginner to get connected to SQL Server using the tool SQL Server Management studio.


Connecting to SQL Server

In this article we will learn

  • Connecting to SQL Server using SSMS
  • What is SQL Server Management Studio
  • Different authentication methods used to connect to SQL Server

 First you should have SQL Server management studio installed on your machine.

Note: There are several articles on web which help in installing SSMS.

Steps to open SSMS

1.      Go to ‘Start’ menu.

2.      Click ‘Select Programs’.

3.      Depending upon the version of Microsoft SQL Server installed you will see the folder

With the same name as shown in the below screen shot.

                             Fig 1

4.      Select the ‘SQL Server Management Studio’.

5.      SSMS opens up for further operations.

SQL Server management Studio and SQL Server are two different things.

SQL Server contains any data, tables, triggers, database etc. whereas SSMS is a tool to connect to SQL Server. Developer’s machine (clients) connects to SQL Server using SSMS.

                              Fig 2

Steps to Connect to SQL Server

On the launch of SQL Server Management Studio,

1.      We get the below wizard to connect to SQL Server.

 Fig 3

2.      First choice is to select the Server Type. The default is ‘Database Engine’ and you will see the list of server types on the dropdown like Analysis Services namely SSAS, Reporting Services(SSRS) etc., if we have installed Business Intelligence during the SSMS installation.

 Fig 4

3.      The Server Name ,if we have database on the centralized machine as shown in Fig 2 then we can write the IP address or name of the server.

If we are connecting to SQL Server (Database Server) on our local machine we can write (local) or (.) or loop back IP address ( or the instance name created when installing SQL Server on local machine.

4.      Next is to decide how we want to connect to SQL Server.

During installation will be having choice to select Authentication modes either Windows Authentication Mode or Mixed Mode.

If we had selected ‘Windows Mode ‘during installation then will be having only one option for authentication namely in the dropdown.

·        Windows Authentication

              If we had selected ‘Mixed Mode ‘during installation then will be having two options for      authentication in the dropdown namely

·        Windows Authentication

·        SQL Server Authentication

5.      If we have chosen ‘Windows Authentication’ then we don’t have to provide any credentials (username and password).

Because the authentication uses windows login and we have already authenticated to login ourselves to the computer. So basically Windows username and password will be used to validate you against the Database.

Fig 5

If we have chosen ‘SQL Server Authentication’, then we make use of the Username and password mentioned during the installation of SQL Server.

Typically we specify the username as ‘sa’ meaning System Administrator during the configuration on local machines.

6.      Then on click on ‘Connect’ it will connect to the instance of the SQL Server installed on that machine.

7.      On the object explorer we can see all the database objects like Databases, Security related stuff etc.

Fig 6


In this article we have learnt how to connect to SQL Server with SSMS.
My Next article on SQL Server will be 'Creating Altering Database'.

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About the Author

Full Name: Vijetha Marinagammanavar
Member Level: Starter
Member Status: Member
Member Since: 8/12/2014 1:13:14 PM
Country: United States

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