Replication Monitor – Friendly Names

You may have noticed when you setup a merge pull subscription using the New Subscription Wizard in SSMS that you weren’t given the opportunity to give your subscription a description.  This is unfortunate because subscription descriptions are displayed in the Friendly Name column in Replication Monitor and give you a convenient way to tag your subscriptions with meaningful names.  You may have also noticed that when you right-click on a merge pull subscription and view it’s properties that the subscription description property is grayed out.

Subscription Properties Capture - Pull Subscription

Executing sp_changemergepullsubscription to change the subscription description to 'Seattle 1' does appear in the Subscription Properties dialog.  But Replication Monitor still displays no Friendly Name.

Subscription Properties Capture - Pull Subscription w description

Replication Monitor - No Friendly Name

Fortunately there is a table MSmerge_subscriptions in the distribution database which contains a row for each subscription in our merge pull topology and is our key to populating the Friendly Name column for our merge pull subscriptions.

-- Use the distribution database

USE distribution

GO


-- Give our merge pull subscription a description

UPDATE MSmerge_subscriptions

SET description = 'Seattle 1'

WHERE subid = 'C281B1EC-3684-42B6-B9B8-AB6DB91F6F18'

GO


MSmerge_subscriptions - w description

Replication Monitor - w Friendly Name

We can now see a Friendly Name for our merge pull subscription in Replication Monitor.  A friendly name is much easier to remember than an obnoxious server name and can save us time when identifying subscribing servers in Replication Monitor.

Discuss
4 Comments
  1. I ran into this as well and I personally would rather have the friendly name in play, matter of fact I was writing a post about this very subject but evidently never finalized it. Great post!

    • brandon says:

      Hi Samson, thanks for the feedback. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who likes friendly names :)

  2. Gavin says:

    Hi Brandon thanks for this! I definitely prefer the friendly names to using the complete subscription name, and your post just made the process of updating the table a lot easier! Now how to automate this…hmm.. :o)

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