This whole post is stolen from:
Premier Field Engineer/Microsoft Dedicated Support Engineering
Original Post: Test remote SQL connectivity Easily!
DISCLAIMER:I simply posted it to my blog so I can find it in the future. Steve Rachui deserves full credit.
I learned about something very useful today and thought I’d share.
Have you ever been troubleshooting a problem with remote SQL Iproxy MP, remote DB, etc) and wanted to test to see if the local system account (or any account for that matter) could make a remote connection to SQL but you didn’t want to install the SQL tools just to make that test? Seems there is a file type – UDL file – that you can simply create that will bring up a window to allow testing of remote connections to SQL.
Just go anywhere on your system and create an empty text file named anything but instead of txt make sure the extension is UDL. Then, double-click on the file and up pops a SQL connectivity window to allow testing of remote SQL connections.
Very easy to use to test connectivity with a known user account or as local system (using PSExec).