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.
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.
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
-- Give our merge pull subscription a description
SET description = 'Seattle 1'
WHERE subid = 'C281B1EC-3684-42B6-B9B8-AB6DB91F6F18'
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.