I did this once in a training session and the class was amazed. For years, I've been whipping out connection strings using a little-known technique involving UDL (Universal Data Link) files. Here's the trick:
1. Create a new text file on your desktop and rename it to "Test.UDL" instead of the default ".TXT" extension. You'll need to show file extensions for this.
2. Next, double-click on this file to open up a connection string editor called "Data Link Properties."
3. Change to the Provider tab and choose the provider (OLE DB Provider for SQL Server in this example).
4. Change to the Connection tab and set your basic connection settings. You can also test your connection at this point if you want.
5. Set any additional settings in the Advanced and/or All tabs, such as Connection Timeout. Then click OK to save the file.
6. Open the .UDL file with notepad and there you go...
Provider=SQLOLEDB.1;Integrated Security=SSPI;Persist Security Info=False;Initial Catalog=TestDB;Data Source=localhost
You can remove the property called "Persist Security Info" because it's only used by the tool itself. Enjoy.