SQL Server 2008 Management Improvements – SQL Server Management Studio Improvements

I’m here at the SQL Connections conference in April of 2008 and I’m giving a presentation on some of the new Manageability Improvements for SQL Server 2008. In this blog post I’ll talk about a few of the enhancements we’ve made to SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) for SQL Server 2008.


SQL Server Management Studio is the primary tool you can use for end-to-end management of a SQL Server 2005, or 2008 Instance. It has several configurable areas, and multiple options that let you control your environment. We’ve made some significant changes there that will help you to be more efficient with it.


The first thing you’ll notice in SQL Server Management Studio is that it is faster to load, and executes faster for most operations. We’ve scrubbed the platform to ensure that we optimized everywhere we could. Although this is a constant process, we took the time to review many operations at one time to ensure they could scale well and were as efficient as possible.


You’ll also notice that there is another option panel when you connect to the server. This panel allows you to enter additional connection strings – something necessary since Analysis Services requires additional strings to provide certain functionality.


Once inside, you’ll find that Object Explorer Details has been completely re-written. It now has selectable columns, which can be sorted, arranged, and even copied to the clipboard in Excel-ready tab-delimited format. There at the bottom of Object Explorer you’ll find an expandable area that shows a few properties of  the selected object. The more you expand, the more properties you see. Clicking the clipboard icon to the right of any property copies that value to the clipboard. Of course, you can still show the same Properties Panel that you had in SQL Server 2005.


One of my favorite improvements is Object Search. Just at the top of the Object Explorer Details area is a text box where you can enter a name, or part of a name with a wildcard, and when you press Enter the system will locate all of the objects with that name – for most types of objects. You can then right-click the object you want and perform a few actions, or synchronize the object to the Object Explorer where you have all of the actions available.


Speaking of the Object Explorer, you’ll find new Wizards, including one to help you with Partitioning. You can also right-click a table and return only the top number of rows, which is also configurable.


Up in Registered Servers, you’re no doubt used to being able to right-click a server name and running a query. Try this: right-click the name of a group of servers, and you’re now able to run a query across all of them. This new feature is called Multi Server Query.


You’ll also notice a new server registration type. Registering a system in a central server allows other administrators to access those same registrations by simply registering the central server in their own SSMS Registered Server windows.


Books Online hasn’t been updated for these features yet, but it soon will be.

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