Originally published on KendalVanDyke.com.
I manage a lot of replication publications\subscriptions and when I get a latency or agent failure alert it always bugs me that I have to go through 5 steps to launch Replication Monitor: launch SSMS, go to my server in object explorer, expand the treeview, right click on the Replication node, and choose the menu option to launch Replication Monitor. To make things easier I did what I think Microsoft should have done in the first place and created a shortcut to the Replication Monitor executable in my start menu and on my desktop.
To create a shortcut for yourself open up Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn if you’re running SSMS 2008 or C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Binn if you’re running SSMS 2005. Right click on sqlmonitor.exe and choose Send To > Desktop (Create Shortcut). Now you’ve got a shortcut on your desktop that will launch SQL Server replication monitor without SSMS with a simple double click! (You’ll probably also want to rename the shortcut to something like “Replication Monitor”)
Unfortunately the default icon doesn’t look great in anything bigger than 16×16 so I replaced it with a really nice (and free!) icon from iconspedia.com that looks much better: