SQL Server tools suck, do you agree?

When I moved from Oracle 7 to SQL Server 6.5 I was amazed at the tools you got with SQL Server. They made the product so much easier to manage and pickup. Things like enterprise manager, profiler and query plans where amazing.

That was almost 10 years ago, and whats changed. Well very little.

So the tools now support the new engine features, and they look different but in essence there is much that has improved since the 6.5 days.

There's no schema designer, there are no nice visualisers of database performance, no can't drag a table from one database to another, or change the data type of a column and have it propogate through the schema.

Ok so these aren't simple things to solve, but thats not my problem, I want tools that make my life easier. Management studio is just a cataloging system. It doesn't really help me do my job.

I think Data Dude has gone some way, the error checking (compile like) feature is great as is the way things are structured.

Whats more many will say that there are lots of little bugs/features that are sitting in management studio that just aren't getting fixed.

So what can be done. Well ove the past months I've seen a huge drive my the manageability team to improve the lot of Management Studio. However what I find is that its all tied to the major release of Katmai and so you have to wait for 3 years before you get something. In fact its going to be more like 5 years, i.e. you have the idea now, it won't get into Katmai so will be in katmai +1 which will be in 4-5 years time.

4-5 years time, my kids will be in school by then, I will have probably changed jobs, probably now working on something different and won't care.

What I want is to be able to benefit from the drive of the tools guys and see the benefits realised sooner. This is only going to happen if the tools are not tied to the release of the engine. One argument is to include new features in service packs. Well anyone that manages many servers doesn't want new features they have to test they just want the minimal changes for bugs.

So if you support my idea of splitting out the release of tools from the release of the engine please vote.



Published Wednesday, March 5, 2008 8:59 PM by simonsabin


Wednesday, March 5, 2008 9:49 PM by Jamie Thomson

# re: SQL Server tools suck, do you agree?

"can't drag a table from one database to another, or change the data type of a column and have it propogate through the schema"

I wouldn't want to give developers the ability to do this. Petrifies me the thought of the damage they could cause.

yeah, yeah you can argue "don't give them permission to do it" but I've never been in a SQL Server shop yet that didn't give developers more rope than they need to hang themselves. I don't see that changing soon.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008 11:26 PM by simonsabin

# re: SQL Server tools suck, do you agree?

Thats just daft. Thanks like saying I'm not going to invent the chainsaw because someone could too easily chop their leg off.

Many things that make life easier come with a level of responsibility.

Also the view that something shouldn't be done because its too hard or people won't understand is not looking at the problem properly. Make the solution so it isn't difficult and people will understand.

This is one area I think Apple excels. Usability. Look at the iPhone. Doing the web on a phone sucks, you need to think out of the box to get something that works, from what I've seen of the iPhone it does that.

Being more on topic, things like the attribute designer for ssas. It sucked before and now its supposedly dead easy to use. Fortunately BIDS has a plug in architecture. SSMS doesn't but don't get me on that one.


Thursday, March 6, 2008 1:10 AM by Matthew Roche

# re: SQL Server tools suck, do you agree?

A) I voted for your suggestion on Connect

B) I think this is a good idea

C) I do not think that SQL Server tools suck, although I do agree that there is a great deal of room for improvement

D) Have you used Oracle lately? Give their tools a try and you'll likely remember why you loved SQL tools so much in the first place. :-)

Monday, March 10, 2008 5:18 AM by Michael Morrissey

# SSIS Error Component

Hi Simon,

A colleague and I have been trying to get hold of your SSIS Error Handling Component but we have had no response to the registration for a password at the site.

I also messaged you on Friday 7/3/07 but have had no response so I don't know if this the fault of your Community Server or what.

We beleve this component is going to save us a lot of hassle.


Michael Morrissey.

Monday, March 10, 2008 11:07 AM by SQL Server - Christian Robert

# SQL Server : Pour ou Contre la sortie décalée des outils de management de SQL Server ?

Débat débuté par Simon Sabin, MVP SQL Server lui aussi, sur la sortie éventuellement séparée des outils

Sunday, March 16, 2008 11:29 AM by Arjen Stins

# re: SQL Server tools suck, do you agree?

Hi Simon,

I agree. I've used Sql2005 Management Studio to alter PUBS.dbo.author.phone to make it NULL ALLOWED. Thanks to data dude i cam compare schema's from PUBS with a copy of PUBS.

The result was, that FOREIGN KEY CONSTRAINTS to author.au_id were set to NOCHECK.


Arjen Stins

Sunday, March 16, 2008 11:53 AM by simonsabin

# re: SQL Server tools suck, do you agree?

The table designer that you used to make the change is known to have lots of issues. I know it is something that is being looked at in the future.

I would say if you are making changes using the table designer. Generate the script and review the script first, you can then ensure that you don't end up in such a situation.

Thursday, May 22, 2008 5:08 PM by Mark Kellerman

# re: SQL Server tools suck, do you agree?

You can always compensate all the lacks of native software with a large amount of 3rd party solutions that are avialable on the market.  

I use a plenty of different tools.

For example, I frequently use a bunch of scriplogic's sql server management solutions

They offer great tools for sql security permisisons reporting, analyze and management and powerful sql databases backup with compression up to 90-95 %