Server Explorer

As development has become more server-centric, developers have a greater need to discover and manipulate services on the network. Visual InterDev, used for building classic ASP web sites, and which was available around the same time as Visual Basic 6, started in this direction with a Server Object section in the InterDev Toolbox. The Server Explorer feature in Visual Studio takes this concept and makes working with servers easier. The Server Explorer is more sophisticated in that it enables you to explore and alter your application's database or your local registry values. With the assistance of an SQL Database project template (part of the Other Project types), it's possible to fully explore and alter an SQL Server database. You can define the tables, stored procedures, and other database objects as you might have previously done with the SQL Server Enterprise Manager.

If the Server Explorer hasn't been opened, it can be opened from the View menu. Alternatively it should be located near the control Toolbox. It has behavior similar to the Toolbox in that if you hover over or click the Server Explorer's tab, the window expands from the left-hand side of the IDE. Once it is open, you will see a display similar to the one shown in Figure 1-37. Note that this display has three top-level entries. The first, Data Connections, is the starting point for setting up and configuring the database connection. You can right-click on the top-level Data Connections node and define new SQL Server connection settings that will be used in your application to connect to the database. The Server Explorer window provides a way to manage and view project-specific database connections such as those used in data binding.

The second top-level entry, Servers, focuses on other server data that may be of interest to you and your application. When you expand the list of available servers, you have access to several server resources. The Server Explorer even provides the capability to stop and restart services on the server. Note the wide variety of server resources that are available for inspection or use in the project. Having the Server Explorer available means you don't have to go to an outside resource to find, for example, what message queues are available.

By default, you have access to the resources on your local machine; but if you are in a domain, it is possible to add other machines, such as your Web server, to your display. Use the Add Server option to select and inspect a new server. To explore the Event Logs and registry of a server, you need to add this server to your display. Use the Add Server button in the button bar to open the dialog and identify the server to which you would like to connect. Once the connection is made, you can explore the properties of that server.

The third top-level node, SharePoint Connections, enables you to define and reference elements associated with one or more SharePoint servers for which you might be creating solutions.

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  • marjo
    Why server explorer hasn't sharepoint server?
    8 years ago

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