New SSMS And SSDT

In this blast of new things, Andy Leonard makes mention that there are new versions of Management Studio and Data Tools available:

It’s Release Day! 🙂

New versions of SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) are available here. SSDT 16.5 and 17.0 (RC1) are available. Also available are Data-Tier Application Framework (DacFx) versions 16.5 and 17.0 (RC1).

New versions of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) are available here. SSMS 16.5 and 17.0 (RC1) versions are available for SSMS.

It’s going to be a busy couple of days for some people…

Cached Azure Analysis Services Logins

Chris Webb shows how to log into Azure Analysis Services from Management Studio as a different user:

When Azure Analysis Services was announced I had to try it out right away. Of course I didn’t read the instructions properly so when I tried to log in to my Azure Analysis Services instance from SQL Server Management Studio, like an idiot I logged in with the wrong username. The problem is that once you’ve done this, with current versions of SQL Server Management Studio there’s no way of logging out and logging in as a different user. Luckily Igor Uzhviev of Microsoft had a solution for me and I thought I’d share it for anyone else who’s made the same mistake. Here’s what you need to do:

This seems a bit much, but should just be a temporary workaround.

Manage Compression Bug In SSMS

Arun Sirpal found a bug in Management Studio 2016:

The actual message that you are presented states: Tables with sparse columns cannot be compressed – I have no sparse columns.

I never had this issue with SQL Server 2014 Management Studio

It looks like that bug has been fixed in the latest version of Management Studio, so if that affects you, it’s worth an upgrade.

Upgrading SSMS

Melissa Coates argues that you should upgrade to the latest version of Management Studio:

SSMS is supported for managing SQL Server 2008 through 2016 (except for SSIS instances which sadly still require a version-specific SSMS at the time of this writing). If you manage numerous servers on different versions, this unification is fantastic. There is partial support for managing pre-2008 instances. And, of course as you’d expect, the newest SSMS release supports various new features in SQL Server 2016 such as Query Statistics, Live Query Plans, Compare Showplan, Security Policies for row-level security, and so on with all the new 2016 goodies we have.

SSMS also supports managing Azure components such as Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Data Warehouse, as well as hybrid cloud features such as StretchDB and Backup to URL. This additional unification is really, really handy.

I have a copy of SSMS 16 for reading Query Store, but not all of my plugins have been updated yet, so I’m still living in SSMS 2014 for now.

Extended Properties

Phil Factor has a detailed article on extended properties:

Extended properties are easy to read, thanks to a useful system view. Sys.extended_properties. However, they are a pain to create, update and delete; they rely on special stored procedures that have a syntax that isn’t at all intuitive for those of us without mutant mental powers. They have a limit of 7,500 characters but are actually stored in a SQL_variant so that DateTime, Approximate numeric, exact numeric, character, Unicode and binary information can be stored in it. Most of us use some sort of tool such as SSMS to maintain this documentation rather than to do it via SQL. The SQL is cumbersome.

Extended properties was an interesting idea but there was so little tooling available to make them really useful.  I don’t see that changing.

Snippets

Kenneth Fisher has a demonstration of snippets in Management Studio:

A while ago I talked about Templates. This is an easy way to get a, well, template of a piece of code. But a much faster way to get a simple template is to use asnippet. With a simple key command (ctrl-K, ctrl-X) you can open up the snippet picker and quickly navigate to the snippet you need.

Note: You can also open the snippet picker by right clicking and selectingInsert Snippet… or from the menu Edit -> Intellisense -> Insert Snippet…

Further note: snippet picker sounds really odd but it was the name in BOL so we’ll go with it.

Click through for a demo.

SSMS Grids

Riley Major airs grievances with SQL Server Management Studio’s old-timey grids:

After years of using SQL Server Management Studio (and its predecessor Query Analyzer), I’m struck by how incapable the results grids still are. Unlike Excel, you can’t sort them, you can’t filter them, you can’t search within them, and you can’t easily change their font size. In any commercial software product, grid tools are table stakes. For some reason vendors still like to run through them, but they’re never a differentiator. That’s because you can just buy a grid component and use it in your application. Even the basic grid control which came with .NET 2.0could sort.

Click through to read more, and also check out the Trello board that Riley mentions.

SSMS And Memory

Daniel Janik looks into those out-of-memory errors Management Studio blesses us with:

Has SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) been crashing on you? Have you been getting Out of Memory messages when attempting to run queries?

You may have noticed that this tends to occur after you’ve opened and closed 40 to 50 query windows. I’ve noticed this when I have had as little as 5 query windows open after having already opened and closed 30 or so other query windows.

It’s crazy that Management Studio is still a 32-bit application after all of these years.

SQL Server Connectivity In VS Code

Max Trinidad looks at the VS Code plugin for SQL Server connectivity:

After installing, we need to customized their setting by creating connection(s) to our SQL Server. We do this by opening VS Code “User Preferences” and under “Default Settings.json” we search for the “vscode-mssql” settings to be copied over to our working folder “settings.json” file.

I played with this very early on and would like to see it continue to be developed, but it’s no replacement for Management Studio.

Bug Scripting Sequences

Daniel Janik notices a small bug in how Management Studio scripts out sequences:

Have you ever scripted an object from SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)? It does a really good job. You get nice cleanly formatted scripts that start with USE statements to select the database. They even have some simple comments?

Have you ever written a Sequence? Turns out if you script one you’ll notice that Microsoft left you an extra surprise. Double USE statements. Does it matter much? No. Should they fix it? Yes. I noticed this behavior when sequences were first released and it still exists in the latest version of SSMS for SQL 2016 (13.0.1500.23) as of this posting.

Yeah, that’s a tiny bug, but I can see it being annoying.

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