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The SQL Server Pro Awards

By Phil Factor,

With Steve away on vacation, today's guest editorial comes from Phil Factor.

I always take an interest in the SQL Server Pro Editors' Best and Community Choice Awards for Database tools. Naturally, it is little more than an indicator of the value that the SQL Server community puts on a database tool but it nevertheless it was nice to see Redgate’s SQL Backup Pro, SQL Toolbelt, SQL Monitor, and SQL Developer Bundle all get their ‘Oscars’. Five gold awards in all. I wish it could be more of a showbiz event, since it would be fun to see Simon and Neil in their tuxedos, holding trophies and weepily thanking their nearest and dearest during their acceptance speech. To say ‘thank you’ to the community voters, I gather that Redgate is planning something special in December for SSC subscribers, to be announced soon in this Newsletter.

Looking down the list, I was surprised to find my own name, listed amongst some ‘proven SQL Server experts’. Well, that’s something to tell my devoted older sister from Brighton, I suppose. Ah, that was an Editor’s Gold award for SQL Scripts Manager, for which I contributed a couple of example scripts. Actually, the award ought to be for Ola Hallengren’s Maintenance Solution, which formed the DBA meat in the sandwich for the tool, but his SQL Script rightly got the Community Gold award anyway.

I’ve always liked the SQL Scripts Manager. Despite its name, it will also run PowerShell or Python scripts, and can be persuaded to perform powerful magic. It is a great thing to be able to give to production IT staff, so that anyone who is on duty can click on one of a menu of scripts in order to do routine maintenance or first-line response to a problem. It was a down-tools project at Red-Gate, where developers who are normally stuck with rather mundane work get to be able to try to do something more spectacular, in a hectic week of development, design, presentations and testing. SQL Scripts Manager took a couple such weeks to get it into its current shape. Once it was launched, William Brewer wrote a couple of articles about it: SQL Scripts Manager, an appreciation and SQL Scripts Manager with Powershell. Then, once we got an added tool to create the scripts, Fast and Free; SQL Scripts Manager's Script Generator. Finally we got SQL Scripts Manager and IronPython from Timothy Wiseman, who described how one could write Python scripts for it.

Although Down-tools weeks have resulted in commercial products such as MySQL Compare, they mostly become free tools for the community. Have you a tool that you’d like Redgate to write in a down-tools week?

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