In this chapter, you saw the difference between the new linked servers and remote servers. You also learned how distributed queries and transactions worked with linked servers. In addition, you learned how to set up, configure, and gather information on linked servers using the system stored procedures, including sp_addlinkedserver, sp_dropserver, sp_serveroption, sp_linkedserver, sp_table_ex, sp_column_ex, sp_addlinkedsrvlogin, sp_droplinkedsrvlogin, and sp_helplinkedsrvlogin. Finally, you learned how to configure linked servers through Enterprise Manager. These foundation skills will be the cornerstone of helping your organization expand its reach to data no matter where it resides.
Although linked servers provide a method to access data in other datasources besides SQL Server, at times, you might need to work with data in a datasource that cannot be linked. In these circumstances, BCP can be used to import data files that have been exported from other datasources into local SQL Server tables or create DTS packages to periodically pull, push, and transform data to other locations. The next chapter, "Importing and Exporting SQL Server Data Using BCP and DTS," discusses how to import and export data as well as how to do complex data transformation processing when called for.