Getting Things Done With SSMS

MarlonRibunal, 2018-04-04 (first published: 2018-03-27)

As a SQL Server pro, I spend most of my productive time in the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). I am currently using the latest version as of this writing, which is v17.6.

I set it up in different configurations according to my taste at any given time. After so many iterations of my preferences which slowly adapted to my working style, I think I found the “perfect” setup that suits me and the way I work.

I’d like to say that my setup is minimal and practical. It only contains settings and windows that I normally need in a typical day.

SSMS Environment Setting

For the general setting, I preferred the Light color theme. It looks clean and, well, light in a sense. It’s easy to focus on the working space where my eyeballs need to zoom in. There are so many interruptions around the working space either in the office or at home (I work from home 2 days a week). I want tools that are minimal and simple.

For the theme of the workspace, I prefer Aaron Bertrand’s (b | tDark Theme with Normal Fonts. I am wearing prescription glasses so I want a theme that’s easy on the eyes.

Registered Servers

Do you find it annoying logging into different servers and forgetting passwords most of the time? I do. I jump from one server to another all throughout the day. And remembering passwords is hard. That’s why I find the Registered Servers windows to be useful.

If I need to run a quick query against any of the servers, I’d just do a right-click on the server list and select Query which opens up a new Query Editor Window that is already connected to the server. No need to enter username and password to connect. That is because the credential is saved when I registered the server.

The added benefits of the Registered Servers Window is that you can backup the setting or share the configuration. I recently upgraded from SSMS v16 to v17x. There is no direct upgrade to v17.x so I have to install the newer version separately. I didn’t have to rebuild all the server one by one, I simply exported the setting from the older version to the newer version.

Object Explorer

The perfect pair for Registered Servers window is the Object Explorer. From the Registered Servers, I just do a right-click on the server and select Object Explorer. Again, there is no need to enter the username and password. I guess this is a common window. I placed it just below the Registered Server window just so I can quickly navigate between servers conveniently. These two windows are placed on the left-hand side of the editor.

Solution Explorer and Template Browser

On the right-hand side are the Solution Explorer and Template Browser windows which are docked on top of each other. The Solution Explorer contains scripts that I either wrote or harvested from the interwebs – scripts that I use day in, day out. The Template Browser is useful for when you forget the syntax of an object.

What are your setting preferences to maximize your productivity in SSMS? Share them in the comment below!

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