Management Studio & More

In SQL Server 2005 we rewrote Enterprise Studio into what is now called Management Studio. One of the major pieces of work was the consolidation of the administration of all services (Database Services, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, and Integration Services) into a single tool. However, [Microsoft] doesn’t provide all of the functionality or tools that could ever be needed or used with SQL Server. There are many other software vendors who build upon and extend the rich functionality in SQL Server.

We find many people using SQL Server also use tools from other vendors. We believe this is wonderful and we are dedicated to supporting our software partners in whatever way we can. We’ve noticed one area of user frustration – “why do I have to launch multiple tools?” In other words, there’s the Management Studio environment and there’s the third’s tool environment. Why? That’s a great question. Technically there is no reason why other vendors couldn’t write their tool to plug-in to Management Studio. The limiting factor is that we don’t expose the necessary set of APIs to accomplish this.

This is easily changed and it’s something we want to change. We are looking at opening up Management Studio to software vendors and to customers. This will allow your favorite tool vendors to build their solution as a plug-in to Management Studio – you’ll only have to launch one management environment. In addition, any customer who has built customer tools will be able to plug their tool into Management Studio. The development and maintenance cost of such home-grown tools will come down.

We are starting to work with a group of vendors who have shown interest in this capability. But we want to be sure we’re hitting the right set. Our goal is to work with as many vendors as possible and shift them to Management Studio but we need your help. Let us know which third party tools you’re using and which ones you’d like to see surfaced with in Management Studio. It’s a very powerful position to go to a software vendor and say “look, we’ve heard from these customers (your customers) and they want your tool to surface in Management Studio.”

In addition, if you’ve built custom tools for SQL Server tell us about them. Tell us how you would envision it plugging into Management Studio.

Comments (10)

  1. chrisslatt says:

    I would love to see Red Gate’s suite in Management Studio! SQL Compare alone has probably saved me a couple of weeks of development time over the last year.

  2. Patrick says:

    I want to see a enhanced object explorer for both Visual Studio and Management Studio.  In both environments, I’d like to put commonly used files/databases/tables in a “favorites” pane with the same tree-expanding capability as the object explorer.

    Without this, I am always scrolling up and down, expanding, contracting, click click click click click click click…  It’d be nice to cut down on the clicks by spending 80% of my time in the 20% of objects I use.

  3. Denis says:

    That would be great to be able to edit sql scripts stored in tables (with right click on the cell?)

  4. I’d like to see macros in mgt studio : a la textpad, where you can record a macro and play it back, for things that are repetitive but need doing all the time.

    For instance, every time i paste a stored proc call from profiler, into mgt studio query window, i have to replace all the double quotes around the date params, with single quotes.

    Textpad has support for regex, which would be nice too.

  5. Daniel,

    You should submit these through Suggestions submited through the connect site end up directly in our work tracking database.

    This poting talks a little more about Connect:

    Thanks for the suggestions.



  6. Sander Rijken says:

    I’m one of the developers on the AnkhSVN project:

    We are currently in the process of converting he addin codebase to a VS SDK 2005 codebase, and providing a ‘real’ SccProvider. It would be great to get the same working in SQL Management Studio.

    The current experiment ends with our package unable to load, probably because of the lack of a valid load key?

  7. Searching the net you’ll find a few people who have bult add-ins for SSMS. You need to know that we don’t support add-ins and may break you in an update (major release or a patch). So though we don’t prevent you from bulding add-ins we don’t prevent it.

  8. Ok, thanks for the answer. To be complete, is this also valid for Visual Studio Packages, or are those denied to load, the same way packages are denied inside Visual Studio when the package doesn’t contain a valid load key?

  9. SSMS is using the VS shell under the covers so the add-in model is the same. We haven’t added any additional logic around the package loading enging in the VS shell.

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