I've been reinstalling a bunch of software on my brand new Win8 machines, and decided to keep a lightweight SQL development experience, so I installed the brand new 2012 LocalDB + SSMS. But then I realized that I had no idea how to connect to it and get started.
What exactly should I connect to when SSMS starts up and asks me what the server name is for LocalDB? I tried my machine name, to no avail. Tried "local", "localdb", "LocalDB", "localhost" as well. No luck.
As it turns out, the correct answer to take advantage of your fresh new LocalDB installation is:
Yes, odd, but it works. There's a pointer in the SQL Server Express team's blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlexpress/archive/2011/07/12/introducing-localdb-a-better-sql-express.aspx, which you might have seen, but I hadn't, so here it is.
LocalDB doesn't create any database services; LocalDB processes are started and stopped automatically when needed. The application is just connecting to "Data Source=(localdb)\v11.0" and LocalDB process is started as a child process of the application. A few minutes after the last connection to this process is closed the process shuts down.