Running SSMS As A Different User

Greg Low shows how to run SQL Server Management Studio as a different Windows user:

Now if all you want to do is to use a SQL Server login, then that’s easy. When you connect to a server in Object Explorer, or when you start a new Database Engine query, you can just choose SQL authentication instead.

But three other scenarios commonly occur.

If you need to run SSMS as an administrator on a machine with UAC, you can do this:

You right-click the link to SSMS and choose Run as administrator.

I will most commonly use option number three, when somebody gives me AD credentials for a separate server but my laptop is not a member of that domain.

SSMS 17.7 Released

Alan Yu announces SQL Server Management Studio 17.7:

In addition to enhancements and bug fixes, SSMS 17.7 comes with several exciting new features:

  • Support package scheduling in Azure-SSIS integration runtime.

  • Support for SSIS package scheduling in SQL Agent on SQL Managed instance. It is now possible to create SQL Agent jobs to execute SSIS packages on the managed instance.

  • Replication monitor now supports registering a listener for scenarios where publisher database and/or distributor database is part of Availability Group. So with this release of SSMS, you can monitor replication environments where publisher database and/or distribution database is part of Always On.

There are also several bugfixes that they call out.

Connecting To Power BI Report Server Using SSMS

Koen Verbeeck shows how to connect to a Power BI Report Server instance using SQL Server Management Studio:

Sometimes you want to connect to a report server instance using Management Studio, for example to create a new security role or modify an existing one. Recently I tried to log into our newly installed Power BI Report Server (March 2018 edition). I was greeted with the following error:

The Reporting Services instance could not be found.

Read on to see how to solve this problem.

The Value Of Live Query Stats In SSMS

Rob Farley exlaims his appreciation of Live Query Stats in SQL Server Management Studio:

wrote about Live Query Statistics within SSMS a while back – and even presented at conferences about how useful it is for understanding how queries run…

…but what I love is that at customers where I have long-running queries to deal with, I can keep an eye on the queries as they execute. I can see how the Actuals are forming, and quickly notice whether the iterations in a Nested Loop are going to be unreasonable, or whether I’m happy enough with things. I don’t always want to spend time tuning a once-off query, but if I run it with LQS turned on, I can easily notice if it’s going to be ages before I see any rows back, see any blocking operators that are going to frustrate me, and so on.

I don’t use it often, but when I do, I typically learn something interesting about the query I’m running.

Using SQLCMD’s Exit Command

Louis Davidson has a quick tip on using :EXIT in SQLCMD mode:

The first use I will cover will help you stopping from running an entire file’s worth of SQL statements without meaning to. I use this mostly when doing demo code, but it certainly finds its way into some of my other code as well. The hotkeys in SSMS for hiding the results (Ctrl-R), and executing a query (Ctrl-E) are next to each other. In a demo, where you are showing code, statement by statement, accidentally executing the entire file of queries can cause you to spend unwanted time recovering with many eyes staring back at you. This is only slightly better than accidentally running code in your office system, and losing your job.

Read on for more.

Null Reference Exception In SSMS 17.5

David Fowler notes a bug in SQL Server Management Studio 17.5 around availability group failover:

After a spot of head scratching and thinking that there was something wrong with my AG setup, it turns out that there’s a bug in SSMS.  I was running SSMS 17.5 although this may well also affect earlier versions.

Looking at the release notes for SSMS 17.6, one of the bug fixes that this version addresses is…

  • Fixed an issue when the primary is down and manually failover to secondary, a NullReferenceException will be thrown.

David notes that upgrading fixed his issue; read on for more.

Tabs And Spaces In SSMS

Wayne Sheffield continues his SQL Server Management Studio Tips & Tricks series:

Regardless of whether you like to use tabs or spaces, this is where you go to configure your settings. The first part of the screen controls the indenting options. If “None” is selected, then the next line will start at the beginning of the line. If you have selected “Block”, then it will align the next line with the previous line. And if you are using “Smart”, then the appropriate language will determine which indenting style to use.

The next section controls the tab size / indent size. This controls how many characters that a tab takes. It also controls whether tabs are converted to spaces or kept as tabs.

You can read more about these options at this link: Manage Code Formatting.

I turn on the View Whitespace option that Wayne mentions because I’m a formatting pedant that way.

Remote DAC And Vulnerability Assessments

Max Vernon points out a SQL Server Management Studio Vulnerability Assessment check which seems somewhat incomplete:

Certainly, you’d want to ensure the port for the DAC is not available to the Internet, but hopefully if you’re reading this blog you already know how silly it would be to open SQL Server to the Internet.

Assuming you don’t have the port open to the Internet, it’s very likely the DAC will not be of any use at all if you disable Remote Admin Connections as advised in the Vulnerability Assessment. My advice is to ignore this warning completely and configure the DAC to allow remote connections. Microsoft Technet has documentation about using the DAC, and says to configure it for remote connections by logging onto the server locally first, then configuring SQL Server to allow remote DAC connections, which seems a bit like putting the cart before the horse.

Read the whole thing.  I agree with Max’s assessment that if there are some basic controls around your instance (like not letting SQL Server be Internet-accessible, putting SQL Server instances in a protected subnet, etc.), remote DAC is definitely useful enough to keep running.

Victimless Deadlocks And SSMS

Michael J. Swart shows a scenario where the deadlock graph fails to open in SQL Server Management Studio:

I recently got this error in Management Studio when trying to view a deadlock graph that was collected with an extended events session:

Failed to initialize deadlock control.
Key cannot be null.
Parameter name: key

I found this error in a session that included the xml_deadlock_report event.

Read on for more information, and do check the comments where Lonny Niederstadt points out that even a victimless deadlocking scenario can have an ultimate victim:  performance.

Full-Screen SSMS

Wayne Sheffield has another SSMS tip for us:

Do you ever find yourself working on a query and realize that you need just a bit more real estate in the SSMS window? Or perhaps you find that all the toolbars, menus, etc. are cluttering things up? To solve these issues, you can toggle the full screen mode in SSMS on. It will remove all that clutter and maximize the query window. Below, you can see a cluttered SSMS with two rows of buttons, and toolbars on both sides of it.

Click through to see how to enable full-screen mode.

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