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Microsoft SQL Server connection

Microsoft SQL Server connection

Create a connection asset for Microsoft SQL Server.

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system.

Supported versions

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000+
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 7.0

Create a connection to Microsoft SQL Server

To create the connection asset, you need the following connection details:

  • Database name
  • Hostname or IP address
  • Either the Port number or the Instance name. If the server is configured for dynamic ports, use the Instance name.
  • Username and password
  • Select Use Active Directory if the Microsoft SQL Server has been set up in a domain that uses NTLM (New Technology LAN Manager) authentication. Then enter the name of the domain that is associated with the username and password
  • SSL certificate (if required by the database server)

For Private connectivity, to connect to a database that is not externalized to the internet (for example, behind a firewall), you must set up a secure connection.

Choose the method for creating a connection based on where you are in the platform

In a project
Click Assets > New asset > Data access tools > Connection. See Adding a connection to a project.
In a catalog
Click Add to catalog > Connection. See Adding a connection asset to a catalog.
In a deployment space
Click Add to space > Connection. See Adding connections to a deployment space.
In the Platform assets catalog
Click New connection. For more information, see Adding platform connections.

Next step: Add data assets from the connection

Where you can use this connection

You can use Microsoft SQL Server connections in the following workspaces and tools:


  • Cognos Dashboards (Cognos Dashboard Embedded service)
  • Data quality rules (IBM Knowledge Catalog)
  • Data Refinery (Watson Studio or IBM Knowledge Catalog)
  • DataStage (DataStage service). For more information, see Connecting to a data source in DataStage.
  • Decision Optimization (Watson Studio and Watson Machine Learning)
  • Metadata enrichment (IBM Knowledge Catalog)
  • Metadata import (IBM Knowledge Catalog)
  • Notebooks (Watson Studio). Click Read data on the Code snippets pane to get the connection credentials and load the data into a data structure. For more information, see Load data from data source connections.
  • SPSS Modeler (Watson Studio)


  • Platform assets catalog

  • Other catalogs (IBM Knowledge Catalog)

Watson Query service
You can connect to this data source from Watson Query.

Microsoft SQL Server setup

Microsoft SQL Server installation


Except for NTLM authentication, Windows Authentication is not supported.

Running SQL statements

To ensure that your SQL statements run correctly, refer to the Transact-SQL Reference for the correct syntax.

Learn more

Microsoft SQL Server documentation

Parent topic: Supported connections

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