Two cool add-ins for SSMS

Now that SQL Server 2005 has been released, I'm becoming more "at one" with the tools. I've commented on a couple of cool features as things evolved, but having worked with the product since it's early beginnings I've also learned a lot of DDL. And learned early on that, "just because you can't do it with the graphic-user interface doesn't mean it can't be done". I'm pleasently surprised of the evolution of SQL Server Management Studio. It can do almost everything…but CREATE a QUEUE or SERVICE from Object Explorer (A minor inconvenience). The cool things far overshadow the few limitations.

However…today I came across two add-ins for SSMS that I can't do without. Already. First one solves the hassle of not being able to rearrange the folder entries in SSMS Projects in alphabetic order. I always thought this would appear in the "next CTP, right around the corner. It didn't. And Jasper Smith published this nice "external tool" that I now can't do without. Thanks Jasper.

I've always loved intellisense. Not that I can't memorize tons of API interfaces and methods if I have to/use them all the time. The OLE DB interfaces and methods come to mind. But I always used Visual Studio, even in the early .NET pre-alpha days (when EMACS for Windows made a comeback) because of the intellisense. One of the interesting side-effects with intellisense is most often, if it doesn't show up in intellisense, you're pretty sure you've mistyped the class/interface name.

Second SSMS add-in I can't do without is called PromptSQL. Very (sorry VERY, VERY (2 capital “very“s)) cool add in. I use it mostly in SSMS, but it also supports Query Analyzer and Visual Studio database projects. It has one superb feature I wish they'd have in VS intellisense. The "aggresion level" of intellisense, ie, how long it wait before popping up the intellisense is configurable. Although its mostly the "aggresion level" of automatic statement completion in VS that's a pain, especially in VS 2005 it's way too aggressive.

Anyway I've a convert to the tools. And certain add-ins. I've probably created my last trivial DDL without Template Explorer. And puzzled over table names without intellisense for the last time. Back to work…it's only just after midnight. What IS ASP.NET Cache Sync doing with Service Broker anyhow?…story for another day.

3 thoughts on “Two cool add-ins for SSMS

  1. Actually mentioned tools are not add-ins: one is mere External Tool (executable) and other is application that uses hooks for capturing keyboard activity. Is it possible in SQL Server Management Studio to have add-in that acts truly as add-in: for example, adds new items in menus of SQL Server Management Studio?

    Thank you

  2. I agree, PromptSQL is awesome, I cannot see why Microsoft could not do it as several companies now have similar SQL Intellisense tools out there. It would be nice it someone created a T-SQL tool like C-sharper which has refactoring abilities, as well as highlighting syntactical errors in T-SQL code. Surely Microsoft could at the very least manage that. Don’t get me wrong, SQL Server is a great database development platform, but it is in dire need of some better development UI tools. For a review of PromptSQL, along with download instructions, go to:

    There are also some good T-SQL query optimization tips on that sight aswell.

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