My Perfect SQL Server Management Tool

As many of you know, I used to work on the product team on SQL Server Management Studio. I think it does a good job of balancing the needs of a data developer and a data administrator, even though there are things I would like to have done to make it even better.

But if I were king, I would love to put in a completely new kind of management tool for SQL Server. Here’s what that would look like:

It would be in two parts. The first would be a management interface, the second an awesome, small, slick editor. Both would support add-ins or extensions, and both would have an API that I could script against.

The first part would be housed in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) – the new one in Windows 2008 Server or Windows 7. I really like the new interface – forget what you hated about MMC 2.0 back in the day. I want it in here because I want to do *Management* – hence the name. I also want to snap in Active Directory, Local Security Policies, Local Users, my activity logs, the perfmon tool – all of the things that I do in Windows that appear in MMC now. I like managing from one tool.

In this interface, I would have three “modes” that you could switch between. The first mode would be for monitoring. Lots of customizable graphs that you could back with built-in or custom scripts. That would be my “dashboard”.

The second would be all task driven, using Wizards with scripts. Just a list of tasks that fall into wizards, which could either be saved, scripted, or both. Oh, an of course, customizable and extendable.

The third interface would be a list of all of the objects (in multiple kinds of views) and their property panels. Just a list of every object with all of their properties and methods with a “Fire!” or a “Script!” button at the end.

For the editor – love all the stuff we have now, with one addition: script to Excel. I know, all kinds of DOJ issues and the usual outcry that you have to install Excel, but I don’t care. I want this. Just dump the results DIRECTLY into Excel so that I can graph, chart, flip, pivot, all that.


OK – Flame away.

Comments (2)
  1. Jimmy May says:

    Wow! Great stuff, Buck, especially the Excel idea!

  2. JimC23 says:

    I’d like to see the ability to re-open an accidentally closed tab, similar to control-shift-T in Firefox… err, I mean IE8.

    Also, it would be really cool to have the ability to hit a key and cycle the focus through the showplan operators from the highest percentage cost in the plan to the next highest.  Heck, I’d be happy enough to be able to jump to the highest cost and save scrolling through a really large plan.  (Maybe I should be less lazy and just look through the XML?:)

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