Even though SQL Server 2008 does not include the Notification Services (SSNS) component, it seems that companies still consider SSNS a very viable option for upcoming notification projects. I'm planning to write a blog or SQLTeam article in the near future to address some questions I'm frequently asked.
In the meantime, if you have decided to create a new notification application using SSNS, I'm reposting a short tutorial I created a couple of years ago. It's been modified and updated slightly.
In this blog we'll go through the simple steps that can be used to create a new SQL Server 2005 Notification Services instance using Management Studio. I've included a series of images to help illustrate the process.
After you've installed SQL Server 2005 and Notification Services, you'll find a Notification Services folder in the Object Explorer. Initially this will be empty since there are no instances defined. By right-clicking on the folder you'll expose a context menu that allows you to create a new instance. This is illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1 - Creating a new instance.
Click the New Notification Services Instance menu item on the context menu to open a New Notification Services Instance dialog window. This window allows you to select the Instance Configuration File for the instance. Click the Browse button to navigate to the file you've created. You do not have to select the Application Definition Files; they are defined in the Instance Configuration File. Click Ok to create the instance. Figure 2 depicts the New Notification Services Instance dialog window.
Figure 2 - Selecting the ICF.
If everything is configured correctly in your ICF (Instance Configuration File), a new instance is created. You can watch the progress and examine the final results in a dialog window as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3 - Examining the results.
After the instance is created, it may be registered by right-clicking the instance in Management Studio and selecting Tasks, Register as demonstrated in Figure 4.
Figure 4 - Registering the instance.
This will open a Register Instance dialog windows that allows you to configure the service account for the Windows Service and its authentication credentials for SQL Server 2005. The Register Instance dialog window is shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5 - Specifying credentials.
After clicking Ok to register the instance, progress will be reported in the Registering Instance window shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6 - Examining the registration progress.
Next Management Studio may be used to enable the instance as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7 - Enabling the instance.
Finally Figure 8 depicts how Management Studio may be used to start the Windows service.
Figure 8 - Starting the instance.
And there you have it; if everything has gone well you have a functioning SQL Server 2005 Notification Services instance running on your computer. If you've encountered an error along the way, the progress dialog windows generally provide enough information for you be start troubleshooting the ICF.
If you're a command line junkie or just prefer the predictable results of scripting out the steps, don't worry, NSControl is still around in SQL Server 2005 Notification Services. But it sure is nice to have a graphical method, too.