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Using client tools to connect to Babelfish

You can use a SQL Server client to connect with Babelfish on the TDS port. When connecting from a Windows system, SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) or sqlcmd are good choices of clients. If you are connecting to the TDS port from a Linux system, sqlcmd is a good choice.

Other clients that speak the TDS protocol can also be used, but are not officially supported by Babelfish. On Linux, these include the FreeTDS command line tool tsql.

You can use any PostgreSQL client to connect to Babelfish on the PostgreSQL port. psql and pgAdmin are examples of open-source clients that run on Windows and Linux platforms and speak the PostgreSQL protocol.

Using sqlcmd to connect to the DB instance

One way to connect to and interact with Babelfish is with the SQL Server sqlcmd utility. A Babelfish connection string takes the following form:



  • -S is the server name and TDS port of the DB instance.
  • -U is the login name of the user.
  • -P is the password associated with the user.
  • -d is the database to which you are connecting. This value is optional; if omitted, the client will connect to the master database.

After connecting, you can use familiar T-SQL syntax to create and manage database objects.

Using SSMS to connect

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is a commonly used SQL Server client. When loading SSMS, it may attempt to connect with the Object Explorer Connect to Server dialog box. If this dialog box opens by default, hit Cancel. Babelfish only supports connecting from the Query Editor.

Connecting with SSMS

  1. Open the Connect to Server dialog by doing one of the following:

    • Choose New Query.
    • If the Query Editor is open, choose QueryConnectionConnect.
  2. Provide the following information for your database:

    • For Server type, choose Database Engine.

    • For Server name, enter the DNS name followed by a comma and the TDS port. For example, your server name should look similar to the following:,1433
    • For Authentication, choose SQL Server Authentication.

    • For Login, enter the user name that you chose to use when you created your database.

    • For Password, enter the password corresponding to that user name.

    • Optionally, choose Options, and then choose the Connection Properties tab.

    • For Connect to database, specify the name of the database to connect to, and choose Connect.

  3. If a message appears indicating that SSMS can’t apply the connection strings, choose OK.

Using tsql to connect

tsql is a command line tool that is shipped as part of FreeTDS. It allows you to connect and to interact with Babelfish (or any other TDS enabled data source) from a Linux terminal.

A Babelfish connection string takes the following form:

tsql -S -p 1433 -U postgres -P secretpassword

For information about using tsql, consult the FreeTDS documentation.

Note that tsql is not officially supported.

Using psql to connect

You can use PostgreSQL’s psql client to connect to Babelfish on the PostgreSQL port (by default 5432). psql supports PostgreSQL-style SQL syntax.

Here is an example how to connect with psql:

psql -h -p 5432 -U postgres -d dbname

Note that Babelfish ships with a modified version of psql, which is intended for use by Babelfish development. This version is not intended for use in a production environment.

Babelfish for PostgreSQL Links