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Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Bible by Aaron Nelson, Jose Chinchilla, Patrick LeBlanc, Jorge Segarra, Adam Jorgensen

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Distributed Query Overview

Several methods exist for querying data from different distributed data sources, ranging from linking servers to developing and executing distributed queries. The most common method is to use Linked Servers, or to link to an external data source, whereas a similar practice to develop and execute distributed queries is also common.

In this section you will look at the concept of linking to external data sources such as Microsoft Excel and other SQL Server instances using Linked Servers.

Connecting to External Data

Connecting to external data is the first step in working with distributed queries. First consider connecting to physical servers using linked servers to assist in your distributed query exploration.

Linking to an external data source is nothing more than configuring the name of the linked server, along with the necessary login information. After you supply this information, you can access data from the linked server.

Linking is a one-way configuration between two servers. For example, if Server A links to Server B, then Server A knows how to access and log in to Server B. As far as Server B is concerned, Server A is just another user.

Linked Servers is not a new concept; it has been around for a while. Linking a server is not the same as registering a server in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Management Studio communicates only with the servers as a client application and provides the ability to do the server linking, different from registering ...

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