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Do You Use Projects/Solutions in SSMS?

When SQL Server 2005 was released Microsoft made a major change to the client tools provided with SQL Server, moving from Enterprise Manager for management tasks and Query Analyzer for scripting to the Visual Studio-based SQL Server Management Studio.  I have to admit that when SSMS was released I didn’t like it and continued using Query Analyzer for a while.  I have now adjusted to SSMS and, while I still wish I had a simple query tool, have grown to appreciate what it does.  My two favorite features are the Standard Reports and the ability to add Projects and Solutions like in Visual Studio.
I have to admit that I don’t use the Project and Solutions feature enough in my day to day work, but I do use it when I put together a blog post or presentation for a SQLSaturday or User Group.  By putting all the code for the demos in a Project I don’t have to go searching the file system to find a demo, I don’t have to have the code pre-loaded into SSMS, and I can stay in SSMS throughout the demos.  Here’s my project for my Default Trace presentation:
DefaultTraceProjectAs you can see it provides a single place for all your scripts.  You can also add the Project/Solution to your source control product of choice (I don’t have one installed on my personal laptop at this time). 
I will be working with this feature more to have projects for my database scripts, maintenance scripts, and my favorite queries in addition to using it for presentations and blogs.
I’d love to hear how you are using projects and solutions in SSMS.


Posted by Wesley Brown on 11 December 2009

Hey Jack,

I did a post on source control last month too. www.sqlservercentral.com/.../why-does-change-control-for-sql-server-have-to-be-so-hard.aspx Looking at alternatives to SSMS.

Keep us up on how you make out with SSMS!

Posted by Jerry Hung on 11 December 2009

Sad to say, I never use the SSMS Project/solution feature in the last 5 years. I just organize files on the file system

On the other hand, I use it in BIDS for SSRS all the time (don't think there's another way anyway)

Posted by Steven Murawski on 11 December 2009

I've started using SSMS Projects/Solutions in my day to day work now that I'm in a Team System environment (source control is a must for any scripting) and there is a plugin for Team System and SSMS.

Previously, I just maintained a folder structure in the file system and used Subversion.

 My only gripe is that I haven't found any automated way to package up the contents of a solution.

Posted by Jack Corbett on 11 December 2009

Thanks for the comments guys.

As I said in the post I I don't use the feature enough and currently don't have any DB projects in source.  Need to do it.  Couldn't justify TFS when it first came out.  Perhaps with DBPro the next time we upgrade.

Gotta be more proactive about source control.

Posted by Steven Murawski on 11 December 2009

Source control is a must for me.  When I changed jobs back in August, I definitely felt more stressed until I had my SQL scripts under source control.  

Though I have only had to rely on the recovery features of source control a few times, the freedom one feels in being able to make changes and know that you have a built in "undo" or the knowledge that you can look back and see the evolution of a script over time really makes a fundamental difference in how I've approached scripting.

If you work in an environment where multiple people have access to a repository of scripts, source control features become that much more valuable.

While we have TFS in my current environment, there are enough free or lower cost options that cost should not be a barrier to using a source control solution.

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