How to connect to a SQL Server RDS instance through a Windows instance using SQL Server Management Studio

Yo Dawg, I heard you like managing your RDS db instance with SQL Server management studio. I got you covered.

First step is to launch an RDS SQL Server Standard db instance from the AWS management console. It can be version 2008 or 2012. It will pay to remember what user and password you selected when first creating this Instance.

Once the RDS instance is up and available, you will need to grab its FQDN: (example: to use later. You will also need to make sure that the security group on the db instance allows for communication with the windows instance we are launching next.

At this point, we can launch any generic Windows AMI instance. After a successful RDP, we then need to download and install SQL Server 2012 Express Management Studio (

Once this is installed, you can then finally open up the program on your windows box (should be under start, programs, microsoft sql server 2012, sql server management studio) and where it says server name, we will input the FQDN that we got from our RDS instance before. One important thing to note is you need to you need to switch from Windows Authentication to SQL Server Authentication in order to input your user and password.

At this point, you should be logged into the pretty GUI and able to do what it do.

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