Viewing the Object Browser
The Object Browser contains a list of SQL servers. Under each server you will find the server databases, SQL jobs, security settings, and all other database and server objects and properties such as tables, views, indexes, logins, users, and so on. To view the Object Browser please refer to the main menu and press View > Object Browser, as illustrated in the attached figure.
When an object is selected in the Object Browser, its properties are displayed in the Properties pane.
For SQL servers this Properties screen also allows to change the server connection settings.
User is able to modify either credentials to log into the server or even the entire connection string. The credentials settings can be expanded from the Connection properties section:
- Integrated Security – When Integrated Security is turned ON, SQL Server leverages Windows NT authentication to validate SQL Server logon accounts.
- UserID – SQL logon name for SQL Authentication.
- Password – Password for SQL Authentication.
A button at the end of Connection properties string brings a Connection Propeties dialog which allows to modify all properties available for Microsoft SQL Servers.
Combine Servers, Registered Servers and Network Servers
Database servers presented in the Object Browser are divided into three different groups: Combine Servers, Detected Network Servers, and Registered Servers, as demonstrated in the figure below. Registered Servers contain all SQL servers that were previously registered in Server Management Studio on the client machine and Detected Network Servers are all SQL servers on your network that were automatically detected by Combine. Note that SQL server machines that are behind a firewall may not be detected automatically since the standard SQL server auto-detection requires port 1434 to be open for UDP traffic from Combine to the servers. When expanding a network server for the first time the server icon will be grey since Combine has not yet established a connection to the server. Combine will attempt to connect to the server using Windows Authentication. If Windows Authentication does not work then the user will be prompted to enter the authentication type and credentials to use in order to communicate with the server. Once the connection is successful, the server icons will no longer be grey.
Combine Servers are the servers that you register inside Combine. You can register a server by pressing the New Server button and filling up all the required information (see Registering Combine Server for details). Combine Servers are used throughout the application to select and add databases for Static Containers in several dialogs and wizards. It is therefore recommended to register all servers that you plan to use with Containers, in order to later deploy code against those server databases.
Additional buttons in the Object Browser allow you to:
View the properties of an item selected in the Object Browser. The object properties will appear in a separate properties windows.
Refresh the list of servers. When this button is pressed for an item, the child nodes under the item will be collapsed, and Combine will refresh the settings for the child nodes.
Register new Combine servers.
Server Groups for Combine Servers
Server groups are provided to help you organize your Combine servers in any way that you see fit. Using the Object Browser, you can create groups and sub-groups of SQL servers by placing them under a folder, or dragging server nodes and dropping them under different folders. To create a new folder, right-click the Object Browser tree node under which the new folder will reside, and select New Folder. Such nodes can be either the Combine Servers root node, or an existing folder.
Once you press the New Folder menu option, the New Folder dialog will show up and ask you to enter the folder name. When done, press the OK button to complete the folder creation. You can then drag server nodes and drop them on the new folder icon to move previously registered servers.
Moving Servers Between Server Groups
If you are using server groups/folders to organize your Combine servers, you can move servers from one group to another by selecting the icons of the servers you wish to move, and then dragging them and dropping them on the target folder icon.
Registering Combine Servers
To register one or more Combine Servers, press the button in the Object Browser to start the dialog shown below. Another way to bring up this dialog is by right-clicking the Combine Servers icon and selecting the option New Server.
On the left side of the dialog there is a list of servers which were automatically detected on the network by Combine. You can either select one or more of those servers, or alternatively enter the server name and press the right-arrows button. If you need to specify a server port, you can enter it after the server name separating by comma. You should then enter the authentication type that will be used to register all the selected servers. The authentication type can be set to one of SQL Authentication, or Windows Authentication, and Login name and password will be required if you are registering the servers using SQL Authentication. These credentials will be stored using strong encryption techniques to prevent others from viewing your credentials.
Also you are able to modify all SQL server connection options using Advanced button.
When done, press the OK button. Combine will not try to connect to the registered servers. If you wish to test the connectivity to the server(s), press the Test Connection button, and Combine will attempt to connect to all the servers listed on the right-hand side of the dialog.
Adding Combine Servers without Registration
Combine Servers can be added from Network Servers or from Registered Servers directly, without registration. To do so, users can copy or drag servers that are listed under Network Servers or Registered Servers and then paste or drop the selected server nodes on the Combine Servers node in the Object Browser. Then, to set the authentication type and credentials that will be used to access those servers, users can select the new servers and set the authentication type and permissions in the Properties window.
The following example demonstrates how to create Combine Servers without registration.
Step 1: Expand the Network Servers node and copy (or drag) the servers to the Combine Servers node.
Step 2: Paste (or drop) the selected servers to the Combine Servers node or onto folders under the Combine Servers node.
Step 3: Update the credentials for selected Combine Servers – select the servers under Combine Servers, press F4 to bring up the Properties windows, and the set the authentication type and credentials to connect to all the selected servers.
Services in the Object Browser
The Object Browser allows users to view the status of several SQL server services. The status of the SQL Server service is marked in the server icon as illustrated in the image below. The status of other services, such as the SQL Server Agent and the Full Text Search are available after the SQL Server node is expanded in the Object Browser, and can be found under the Management folder. Using the Object Browser users can stop, start or pause services on one or more SQL Server instances in parallel, by selecting the servers and then right-clicking and choosing the appropriate commands.
If users do not have sufficient permissions to access the remote machines, then Combine will not display the status of the SQL services. Similarly, when attempting to start or stop services, Combine will display the errors associated with insufficient permissions. Such cases can arise in workgroups when users are not defined on remote machines, in domains where users have less than Power User privileges, when older operating systems that are known to have network or permission related issues are used on remote machines (e.g., Windows 2000 RTM), and so on.
Starting SQL Services on One or More Servers
The Object Browser allows users to stop, start, or pause SQL services on one or more SQL Servers in parallel. To start SQL services, select the servers you wish to start under Combine Servers, right-click and select Start and then choose the service. When starting dependent services such as the Full Text Search or the SQL Agent, if the SQL Server service is not running then Combine will start it before starting the requested service.
After selecting the service to start, Combine will prompt you with several dialogs that are required to collect information from the remote servers (such as the current service status, dependency information and permission verification). These dialogs are self-explanatory and allow you to view the services and the results from all servers.
1. Combine checks access to services on selected machines and disable start controls if has no access.
Stopping SQL Services on One or More Servers
The Object Browser allows users to stop, start, or pause SQL services on one or more SQL Servers in parallel. To stop SQL services, select the servers you wish to stop under Combine Servers, right-click and select Stop and then choose the service. When stopping a service with dependencies such as the SQL Server service, if any dependent services are running then Combine will stop them before stopping the requested service.
After selecting the service to stop, Combine will prompt you with several dialogs that are required to collect information from the remote servers (such as the current service status, dependency information and permission verification). These dialogs are self-explanatory and allow you to view the services and the results from all servers.
1. Combine checks access to services on selected machines and disable stop controls if has no access.