How to Subscribe to a Publication
Published: 3rd May 2013
Once you have created your publication you will need to subscribe to it (otherwise it’s pretty pointless really).

You can start the Subscription wizard from either the Publisher or the Subscriber by clicking as follows:

This will start the Wizard and you will see something similar to the following:

This form will show you the databases on the server you’re connected to and also allow you to select the appropriate publication to subscribe to.

Note that if you are starting this wizard from the publisher than just select the database and publication and you’re done. If you are starting the wizard from a subscriber then you will need to use the drop down to connect to the publisher:

Once you’ve selected your Publication, click Next:

This is the point at which you choose the location of your agent job. Basically, do you want the work to be done on the Subscriber (Pull) or the Distributor (Push). There are a couple of descriptions provided on the wizard, but there is also an article on this subject here.

Once you’ve selected, click Next:

If you have run the wizard from your Publisher then you will have the Publisher already named in this list. As long as you don’t tick it, then it will not be a subscriber.

If you have run this from the Subscriber then this form will be blank (like mine).

Either way, you now need to add the server you wish to be the Subscriber. Click the Add “SQL Server Subscriber…” button…

Connect to your Subscriber machine and it will appear in the Subscriber list along with a drop down allowing you to choose your subscription database…

Note that you can add as many subscribers as you wish at this stage, just keep hitting the “Add SQL Server Subscriber…” button.

Once you are done, click Next…

You must now select your security settings through which replication will connect to both the Distributor and the Subscriber. Ideally these would be a combination of domain and SQL accounts (as I have used below), but you can also use the Agent Account but, as stated, this is not best practice.

Click okay which takes you back to the main security screen. Click Next:

I strongly recommend against selecting “Run Continuously” (to read my article on this click here), therefore the remaining options are Run on Demand, or to create a schedule…

Run on Demand will require you to manually run the agent job each time you wish to align your data. This is good if you are working away from a network and do not replicate to a schedule. For all other times I would recommend defining a schedule. In this case I’ll choose every 5 mins, 24 hours a day…

Click OK and your schedule will appear as expected:

Click Next…

Here you can choose whether you wish your subscription to be initialised (basically all the objects created on the subscriber and initial data loads completed) immediately or the next time the agent runs. This is down to personal choice.

For a merge replication in which the snapshot already exists I tend to select Immediately, but for Transactional in which you will likely (but not always) need to generate a snapshot, I tend to select At First Synchronisation.

Click Next and you’ll be told what will happen next (depending upon what you check)…

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