There's this trend towards putting more and more features into a single product. I recently bought a new printer that included fax, copy, and scan capabilities. I thought that was pretty handy in that I saved a lot of space on my desk. I replaced a scanner that I hated dragging out of the closet, and a separate printer, with one device. Since I don't really use all those functions simultaneously, this worked out well for me.
When I first started working with SQL Server, the current version was 4.2, with the product recently having been ported from Sybase. When we installed this on Windows Advanced Server 3.1, we had a program group with 8 or 10 different programs, each designed to do a separate thing. In SQL Server v6.x, we had fewer programs, but still a separate editor from the management tool, Profiler, and a few more tools.
As we've grown through the versions to sQL Server 2008, it seems that while we have a lot of program items to choose from, we also have consolidated much functionality into two programs: SSMS and BIDs. We also have Profiler as a separate tool that does one thing well.
For this Friday, I'm curious what those of you working with SQL Server think of this. My poll this week is:
Would you rather have many smaller tools, each specialized in some area, or one large tool that covers most of the functions you need?
I don't necessarily write SQL code or administer servers on a daily basis. I do test things, and will fire up SSMS to run queries against various instances, but I don't live in the tool like I used to.
However I do like smaller, lightweight applications. I often use Notepad instead of Word because it's just quicker. I think I'd prefer that the various pieces of functionalities that are in SSMS, an object browser, an editor, a log viewer, etc. were all separate tools. I'd like to be able to run one if I need it, but not load it if I don't. I'd also like to be able to easily switch between two tasks that I'm doing a lot. The current SSMS sometimes has separate windows for things, sometimes not. It's not only confusing, it's unnecessary.
We can keep SSMS the way it is, but could we also break out some pieces as separate applications? Let us know this Friday how you feel and what you'd like to see separated out.