Using the Lightweight Tools

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I'm torn on Azure Data Studio (ADS). On one hand, I love the quick start and lightweight nature of the tool. On the other hand, the limited GUI and unfamiliar way of working with a database platform like SQL Server bother me a bit. Lacking some of the thick client features has me mostly using it for small things, like PostgreSQL access or notebooks. Even then, I struggle to leave SSMS. Maybe I've just had too many years of SSMS (and Enterprise Manager before it), to easily change.

While the ADS/SSMS relationship seems to lean towards the latter, that I just have too much history with SSMS to change. I keep hearing the VS Code is way more popular and useful than Visual Studio from many people. I'm not sure that this means most people that use Visual Studio have abandoned it for VS Code, but certainly VS Code usage has grown quite a bit. Even Facebook has made it the default development environment. I'd have thought this wasn't as popular in non-Microsoft stack places, but VS Code appears to compete well with Sublime Text, Atom, Notepad++, Vim, and others.

This week, I wonder if many of you feel that these new lightweight editors are better than the heavyweight thick clients. Do you prefer ADS or SSMS? VS Code or VS? Are there any limitations or features that might sway or change your mind? I certainly like VS Code, and have even moved PoSh work there instead of the ISE, one place where lightweight tooling wins for me.

I work for Redgate, and we are doing some work to build tools for ADS. There is a market there, but it seems very small for now. Perhaps that is changing, but I'm not sure that usage will dramatically grow in the next year. If you feel differently, or wish things would change, let me know.

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