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Dotty about maintenance plans

I went to remotely edit a maintenance plan the other day and found it took a long time to open any of the objects in the plan. I also found that I was getting errors when clicking the drop down to select a database.

The reason for the problem was that the local server connection embedded in the maintenance plan had the server name defined as "." rather than an actual server name. Because of this the objects were trying to connect to a default instance of SQL on my PC rather than the server. The delay in opening was down to the timeout and the subsequent errors because there was no server to talk to.

The reason this occurred was because when the maintenance plan was created the server was registered as "." rather than <server_name> in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and the maintenance plan uses the registered name in SSMS to populate server name in the connection details. Unfortunately you can not edit the local server connection details so probably the quickest way to fix the problem is to recreate the plan with the full server name registered in SSMS. I say probably the quickest because there may be a way to fix it quickly using the Business Intelligence Development Studio to update the package but getting the package back in is awkward.

The real killer

In many ways I think I got off lightly with this "feature". Why? Well, lets say I was editing the maintenance plan from another location that had got a default instance of SQL installed…… Yep! You guessed it, the maintenance plan loads quickly and without error because its connected to the local instance. When you select databases from the drop down list you are seeing the databases from your local instance and not the remote server and you could then select to run tasks on a database that does not exist on the remote server.

I`m going to flag this on connect and add a check to our install documents to ensure that instances are not registered with a "." in SSMS on the server.

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Categories: SQL Server
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