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Jamie Thomson

This is the blog of Jamie Thomson, a data mangler in London working for Dunnhumby

Thoughts on Nexus in SQL Server PDW

I have been on a SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (aka PDW) training course this week and was interested to learn that you can't (yet) use SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) against PDW, instead they ship a 3rd party tool called Nexus Chameleon. This was a bit of a disappointment at the beginning of the week (I'd prefer parity across SQL Server editions) but actually, having used Nexus for 3 days, I'm rather getting used to it. Some of it is a bit clunky (e.g. everything goes via an ODBC DSN) but once you get into using it its the epitome of "it just works".

For example, over the past few years I have come to rely on intellisense in SSMS and have learnt to cope with its nuances. There is no intellisense in Nexus but you know what....I don't really miss it that much. In a sense its a breath of fresh air not having to hope that you've crossed the line into that will it work/won't it work grey area with SSMS intellisense. And I don't end up with writing @@CONNECTIONS instead of FROM anymore (anyone else suffer from this?) :)

Moreover, Nexus is a standalone tool. Its not a bunch of features shoehorned into something else (Visual Studio).

Another thing I like about Nexus is that you can actually do something with your resultset client-side. Take a look at the screenshots below:

raw grouped

You can see Nexus allows you to group a resultest by a column or set of columns. Nice touch. I know that many people have submitted Connect requests asking for the ability to do similar things in SSMS that would mean we don't have to copy resultsets into Excel (I know I have) - Nexus is a step in that direction.

Its refreshing to use a tool that just gets out of the way yet still has some really useful features. How ironic that it gets shipped inside an edition of SQL Server! If I had the option of using Nexus in my day job I suspect that over time I would probably gravitate back to SSMS because as yet I haven’t really stretched Nexus’ capabilities, overall SSMS *does* have more features and up until now I've never really had any objections to it ... but its been an interesting awakening into the nuances that plague SSMS.

Anyone else used Nexus? Any thoughts on it?


Published Friday, June 17, 2011 12:49 PM by jamiet

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Comments said:

Hi Jamie,

I used Chameleon during our 3 weeks of PDW POC.

I agree: the lack of Intellisense is refreshing, moreso when you know the SQL syntax to write.

In addition to the grouping capability by columns, I also like the SQL History window where I can review my past queries and reuse them without retyping.

Lastly, I love the Create Table as Select (CTAS) feature of the new platform.

The one thing Chameleon lacks is a branch for Stored Procs. However, I believe these features will be available in the next release of SSMS for PDW.



July 25, 2012 7:32 AM

AL said:

hi Guys,

I am also new to the PDW. I prefer Nexus over VS except for the lack of viewing SProc codding.

is there any way we can get around this problem and edit Sprocs from Nexus?


September 10, 2015 5:50 PM

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