What is the “best” solution for a management tool for SQL Server? If you ask a pure DBa (those technical professionals concerned primarily only with system administration from a database standpoint) you’ll get a different answer than you will from a data developer (those technical professionals concerned primarily with writing code against a database server). And then you have the “hybrid” DBA’s – which studies show constitute most of our audience – who do both.
How do you satisfy all of these audiences? The track we’ve followed is a single tool (SSMS) that everyone can use. As with any compromise, you don’t please everyone. If we split up the tools, one for development and one for administration, then we have the issue of the hybrid DBA having to open mulitple tools to work with our product. And we take more and more dependencies on code, which makes our development and enhancement slower.
Normally when you have an issue like this in a computing problem, you abstract. You have a layer for the engine of the product, one for the management and coding interfaces, and then a graphical or textual interface (or both) where the user interacts with the management and coding of your engine. In large part this is what we’ve done, but look for more thoughts on this issue in the future.