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What is the Object Explorer Details tab good for?

For a long time there I would see the Object Explorer Details tab show up when I opened SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) and I would immediately close it. I couldn’t think of a single use for this view that seemed to be just another way to see the list of objects in Object Explorer.

I was wrong.

I know, shocking right?

I still don’t use it often, but Object Explorer Details has some pretty useful features.

First of all, opening and closing it.

Opening it is as simple as hitting F7 or View->Object Explorer Details.

Closing it is just like closing any other other tab. Just hit the X.

Now, what’s it good for? Well, to start with you can use it to script out multiple items at once. I’ve used this recently to script out everything under a specific schema. The upside is that I was able to filter on just that schema. (Which is another very useful feature by the way.) The downside is that the objects are broken up by type. So you’ll have to go through each of the object types. Generally it’s a good idea to query sys.objects to see what type of objects you have in the schema.

It can also come in handy as a quicky, sortable, report. For example, telling you how large the tables in a database are. By row count as well as disk space.

There are lots of columns available to be added and removed and to the best of my knowledge, all of them are sortable. Right-click on one of the columns and you get the list of possible columns. Obviously, the columns available are different depending on the type of object you are looking at.

And last but not least, most (if not all) of the context-sensitive options available in Object Explorer are available through Object Explorer Details.

So, summary? Object Explorer Details may not be something I use frequently, but it very much has its uses.


My name is Kenneth Fisher and I am Senior DBA for a large (multi-national) insurance company. I have been working with databases for over 20 years starting with Clarion and Foxpro. I’ve been working with SQL Server for 12 years but have only really started “studying” the subject for the last 3. I don’t have any real "specialities" but I enjoy trouble shooting and teaching. Thus far I’ve earned by MCITP Database Administrator 2008, MCTS Database Administrator 2005, and MCTS Database Developer 2008. I’m currently studying for my MCITP Database Developer 2008 and should start in on the 2012 exams next year. My blog is at www.sqlstudies.com.


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