The alias name feature provides a way to assign an alternate name to an attribute class. Typically, it is a shorter name. Specifying an alias is optional, but it makes the WQL syntax easier to read if you are working in Query Language view. In design view, the alias name is displayed with the internationalized attribute class name.
Generally, assigning an alias name is optional. There is no advantage or disadvantage to using this feature. However, there are some complex queries that require the use of the alias feature. For these cases, you should have a working knowledge of WQL. For more information on WQL, see the Microsoft SMS 2.0 Toolkit.
When you use the Select Attribute dialog box to assign an alias name, a drop-down edit box is displayed. The first time you assign an alias name to an attribute class, the drop-down list is empty, so you must type a name in the box. Subsequently, each time you assign an alias name for an attribute class, all previously assigned names for that class are displayed in the drop-down list. You can select a previously assigned alias name or specify a new alias name. However, unless you are composing a complex query that requires a new alias name, choose an existing alias name. This prevents SMS from automatically creating unnecessary join operations on the Joins tab of the Query Statement Properties dialog box, which makes the query more complex.
If you open the Select Attribute dialog box from the Joins tab, you are only given the option of modifying a previously assigned alias name. You cannot assign an alias name to an attribute class from the Joins tab if one has not already been specified.
Caution When specifying an alias name for an attribute class, make sure the new alias name is not already assigned to another attribute class. You can review the query syntax on the Joins tab to verify alias names.
About Attributes and Attribute Classes
Using Queries to Locate Resources Overview