Here's my scenario: I've got a linked server going from a SQL Server 2000 machine to a SQL Server 2008 machine. To aid in moving databases with a minimum of config changes, most of our connections point to [dbname.database.organization.com]. That is also the name of the linked server on the 2000 box.

Most of the tables work fine. There is one exception: the biggest table of the bunch (450285 rows) gives this error (the values in the curly brackets have been changed from our real values):

An error occurred while executing batch.
Error message is: Processing of results from SQL Server failed because of an invalid multipart name "{DBNAME}.DATABASE.{ORGANIZATION}.COM.{DBNAME}.dbo.{TableName}", the current limit of "4" is insufficient.

I would expect that behavior if didn't have square brackets around the linked server name (which the error message is just omitting). The rest of the tables I need work just fine the exact same way.

I'm wondering if there is a maximum size setting I'm missing, etc.

This application currently depends on a job that copies the entire table from the SQL Server 2008 machine to the SQL Server 2000 machine, nightly. I would really like to do away with that.


  • Can you confirm that you really do have [ and ] around the name?
    – gbn
    Oct 15, 2011 at 10:13
  • Absolutely. Only the largest of the tables fails when trying to do: SELECT * FROM [{dbname}.DATABASE.{organization}.COM].[{dbname}].[dbo].[{table}] (Again curly bracket values are just me not wanting to show our real values, and the name of the linked server is [{dbname}.DATABASE.{organization}.COM]) The error message omits the square brackets. It's weird, but true.
    – OmegaX
    Oct 17, 2011 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


I've had this problem before, and while I didn't find a fix (as it appears from the error message, SQL Server seems to 'lose' the brackets when it's processing the query), I did find a couple of workarounds:

  1. Using OPENQUERY will allow you to use the linked server name as-is.
  2. (My preferred solution): create a synonym for the linked server and use that in your query:


Then use it in place of that huge mess:

SELECT * FROM MyLinkedTable
  • Synonyms aren't available in SQL Server 2000 Aug 8, 2013 at 18:58

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