New Alias (Alias Tab)

Applies to: SQL Server - Windows only

An alias is an alternate name that can be used to make a connection. The alias encapsulates the required elements of a connection string, and exposes them with a name chosen by the user. Use the Alias page on the Alias - New dialog box to specify the elements of the connection string for an alias. To change the connection string of an existing alias, see <Alias> Properties (Alias Tab).

All values in the Properties grid do not have to be completed. Valid combinations vary depending on the protocol selected. See the topics listed below for examples of valid combinations.

Alias Name
The name (alias) that you want to use to refer to this connection.

Pipe Name / Port No
Additional elements of the connection string. The name of this box varies with the selected protocol.

The protocol used for the connection.

The name of the Microsoft SQL Server instance being connected to.

When to Use an Alias

By default, SQL Server connects to a local instance of SQL Server using the Shared Memory protocol, and to an instance of SQL Server on another computer using either TCP/IP or Named Pipes. Create an alias when you are using TCP/IP or named pipes, and you want to provide a customized connection string, or when you want to use a name other than the server name for the connection.


  • SQL Server is not listening on the default TCP/IP port of 1433 so you want to provide a connection string with a different port number.

  • SQL Server is not listening on the default named pipe so you want to provide a connection string with a different pipe name.

  • An application expects to connect to a database on the server named ACCT, but that database has been consolidated as an instance named ACCT on a server named CENTRAL. The application cannot easily be changed. Create an alias named ACCT, with a connection string pointing to CENTRAL\ACCT.

Creating a Valid Connection String

See the following topics for a description and examples of valid combinations of alias properties: