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Paul Nielsen

The 25 New Features in SSMS 2008

Today I've been working on the SSMS chapter for SQL Server 2008 Bible. The list of new features for SSMS is rather impressive. Here’s a copy/paste from the book…

SQL Server 2008’s Management Studio is an evolution of the SQL Server 2005’s Management Studio, which was a merger of the old Enterprise Manager and Query Analyzer.

For SQL Server 2008, Buck Woody (SSMS Product Manager) and his team went all out with enhancements, tweaks, and new features. The new supercharged Management Studio is one of my personal favorite new features of SQL Server 2008 with 25 (count ‘em) features:

*   Using Registered Servers and Server Groups, the Query Editor can now send T-SQL statements to multiple servers with a single execute.

*   Registered servers can now point to a configuration server – a central server that holds the configuration settings for several instances of SSMS so DBAs can share server configurations

*   Partitioning is easier to configure using a new wizard.

*   Performance Studio presents drill-through reports of information gathered by the Performance Data Warehouse.

*   Activity Monitor can be launched for the SPID currently be viewed.

*   Table Designed and Database Designer have new safety features to prevent accidental data loss.

*   Setting security permission has been redesigned for fewer required clicks, and better display of a principal’s effective permissions.

*   An Info-bar is available in many SSMS forms that provide user guidance.

*   A new Activity Monitor designed for the DBA provides better information including active sessions, wait states, file I/O, and long running queries.

Object Explorer has several enhancements:

*   New Object Explorer Details page display tons of information about the object and has configuration columns and  Vista-like properties panel a the bottom of the page.

*   Object Search makes it easier to locate the right object.

*   The number of rows returned by Object Explorer > Select Top n Rows and Object Explorer > Edit Top n Rows can be set in Options.

*   PowerShell can be launched from most nodes in Object Explorer.

*   Service Broker can now be configured and controlled from Object Explorer.

The Query Editor alone has several enhancements:

 *  IntelliSense that completes table and column names, It’s not perfect, but I’ll bet that with a little time for Microsoft to polish it and for us to get used to it, it will be a boon to productivity.

*   Code outlining features that collapses multi-line statements and procedures.

*   Customizable tabs

*   Lunch profiler from Query Editor

*   Error List recalls last T-SQL errors

*   T-SQL debugger

*   Results grid right click options

Working with Query Execution Plans is improved:

*   An XML query plan (from sys.dm_exec_query_plan ) can be opened as a graphical query plan.

*   XML Showplans are now formatted for easier viewing.

*   Graphic execution plans can be converted to XML showplans.

*   Saved graphic execution plans can be converted back in to the original query.

In addition, the framework SSMS is based on received an overhaul focused on improving load time and overall performance. And, one the Ken Henderson’s final tasks with Microsoft before his untimely passing was performance tuning the queries SSMS sends to SQL Server. 

Published Sunday, March 30, 2008 7:02 PM by Paul Nielsen
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Hugo Kornelis said:

Hi Paul,

Of all these feature, Lunch Profiler must be my absolute favorite. I have already lost two pounds since I started using it!

Best, Hugo

(Sorry, couldn't resist the opportunity :D)

April 1, 2008 10:42 AM

Forrest said:

I love the new Activity Monitor!  The one in '05 didn't have much advantage over querying master..sysProcesses directly.  Which can be good for testing ideas, following blockage chains, etc.  But the wealth of information here is amazing.  The "most expensive recent queries" lets me know how the things I'm developing stack up...

August 23, 2008 3:07 AM

Scotty said:

I like the look of the lunch profiler ... not only does it query, it also dissects your sandwiches

July 21, 2011 11:44 AM
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About Paul Nielsen

Paul Nielsen believes SQL is the romance language of data. As such he’s a hands-on database developer, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, trainer, and author of SQL Server Bible series (Wiley). As a data architect, he developed the concepts of Smart Database Design and Nordic – an open source O/R dbms for SQL Server. He lives in Colorado Springs.

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