I mentioned a few posts back that a lot of people asked us to bring back the Query Analyzer, since many just want to jump into the query tool and start typing. I explained that you can get the same behavior – even better, in mu opinion – by just setting a single startup option.
Well, another big request is to bring back the TaskPad view from SQL Server 2000. You might not be familiar with this view, it was in Enterprise Manager, and showed a simple view of some basic information, along with a couple of graphs for sized objects. It also had some wizards in one panel.
As I mentioned, we do listen to the customer. So for SQL Server 2008, I began to research exactly what people were asking for in the TaskPad. I researched web sites, blogs, comments, and our SQL Connect site. I spoke with MVP’s, and we ran a study at PASS this year. Here’s what we found:
The information is what everyone is after. It’s nice to have certain properties displayed all the time, especially for new folks that don’t know how to find them or which object has which properties.
Wizards are not as useful. The right-click we have now is OK to do basic tasks.
The graphics are nice for certain objects, as long as they don’t slow things down.
So for SQL Server 2008 I’ve proposed an “improvement” (that’s what we call new features) that I think will answer these requests. We’ll see if I can get it in under the time limits we have left. I’ll explain that improvement and my thinking behind it if and when it goes in. But in the next few posts I want to focus on a feature you already have in SQL Server 2005: Standard Reports.
When we wrote SQL Server 2005 Management Studio, we decided to do something “even better” (hey, I wasn’t here then. I was a DBA using this stuff). We created a series of very nice reports that showed not only sized objects, but more information than most people even knew you could get from SQL Server.
And nobody used them.
So we researched why, and figured that people couldn’t find them. So we moved them to an object’s right-click menu – prime real-estate in the development world. There, we thought, that’s sorted.
And nobody uses them.
Well, I say nobody, but of course that’s an exaggeration. Lots of people use them, but it seems that every time I present on management strategies for SQL Server and show these reports, many people in the audience look surprised and begin to scribble down notes. I’ve even asked for a show of hands, a “hey did you know this was here” and got a resounding “No! Why don’t you guys talk about this more!”
So I looked around – and sure enough, we don’t talk about it enough. So I will.