Azure Data Studio vs SSMS - Who is the winner?

  • I like the look and feel of ADS... did I hear someone say "dark mode"??!! Setting colors is more limited than I'd like but good enough for me and then there's notebooks... those have some serious potential (unrealized for me as of yet, but still serious potential). Jupyter never figured it out but I think MS will and then notebooks will allow multiple languages to be used in different cells and that'll be a game changer (PowerShell, Python, SQL, .Net, DAX, MDX all in one notebook... Can someone say interactive Runbooks?)

    I haven't made the switch though... I want to but there are some deal breakers for me... ADS really needs to enable SQLCMD mode (turns out this was added too, yay!), Red-Gate really needs to make SQLPrompt work in ADS (I know they have it available but it also needs to work not just be available), and finally ADS Needs a UI for SQL Server Agent Jobs.  Those are really the only hurdles keeping me away from ADS (SQLPrompt being the biggest), everything else is either something I don't use all the time (at which point I'd load up SSMS for those things as needed until they become available in ADS) or they're something I can work around or live without.

    ADS still seems very data analyst focused while SSMS seems very DBA focused and too many of us are very much so both as well developer (in which case neither works perfectly) so we need a tool that does at least data analyst and DBA and for now that's still SSMS. If I was one or the other and not both... ADS would be my data analyst hat go-to for sure (pending SQLPrompt of course).

    EDIT: I haven't tried SQLPrompt in ADS in a while so this post prompted me to try again and see what if anything has changed... first look says SQLPrompt is working in ADS... That's a big deal for me... I'll be taking another look at the ADS switch sometime before Christmas (I hope anyway).                

    🙁 no tab history but still very good start

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by  Jason-. Reason: Found new details to share

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  • SSMS is the winner since you can access Azure Data Studio from SSMS as an external tool.  Azure Data Studio lacks the full blown bells and whistles of the Redgate Toolbelt.  What if you do not need the cross platform capability of Azure Data Studio, do I lose the value of this feature?

    The graphical tools for SQL Server are the most visible and recognizable tools in the portfolio. The flagship graphical interface for SQL Server is SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), a tool that has been used by millions for over 15 years.  (https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2019/11/06/state-of-the-sql-server-tools/ )

  • Hi Frederico,

    frederico_fonseca wrote:

    and when you try debugging what error do you get? unless for some reason your 18.10 does not have the debug menu at all.

    BTW. I tested 18.5 and 18.10 - no way to debug SQL... As Tima wrote, no error messages - nothing happens.

    See also the old Microsoft thread (which has been purged of all the "negative" comments in meantime):

    https://feedback.azure.com/d365community/idea/acd874a4-6125-ec11-b6e6-000d3a4f0da0

    I would really be interested how you got this work....

    Patrick

    Patrick SIMONS, MCP

  • PatrickSimons wrote:

    Hi Frederico,

    frederico_fonseca wrote:

    and when you try debugging what error do you get? unless for some reason your 18.10 does not have the debug menu at all.

    BTW. I tested 18.5 and 18.10 - no way to debug SQL... As Tima wrote, no error messages - nothing happens.

    See also the old Microsoft thread (which has been purged of all the "negative" comments in meantime):

    https://feedback.azure.com/d365community/idea/acd874a4-6125-ec11-b6e6-000d3a4f0da0

    I would really be interested how you got this work....

    Patrick

    Interesting - I do not know how I have that option working.

    I can only assume it is due to the fact that this particular machine has gone through a sequence of SSMS versions (from 2008R2 to 2014 and multiples of v17 and v18.

    I've just installed V18.5 on another pc (which only had 2008 and 2014) and debug option is not on the menu.

    I'll try over the next few weeks to compare both PC's and see if I can come up with what type of config is enabling debug on 18.5.

  • Interesting set of features ticked off there.

    I haven't really used it much mainly because I don't really have requirements that SSMS doesn't satisfy, being primarily a Production/Platform DBA. So no other languages (barring Powershell which I use the IDE for) or weird stuff. Then also frequently require things like error log viewing.

    I guess I also like the feeling that SSMS gives as being an enterprise management tool, vs ADS a development IDE, even if ADS can do many things from SSMS.

    We really need that dark mode though!

    https://sqlrider.net - My technical blog

  • Thank you Daniel for a very good feature comparison. Although, I agree with the reasoning and comparison, I cannot agree with the outcome. For me as a DBA, SSMS is a clear winner as ADS is still missing a lot of management features. Even with installed SQL Management Pack, the tools in ADS are not so advanced as in SSMS. For example, SQL Agent management pack in ADS let you to manage SQL jobs, however, it has no support for MSX/TSX jobs which widely used in our environment. Unfortunately, this makes SQL Agent management in ADS useless. Similar story with AlwaysOn groups, Extended Events and SQL Logs. So, SSMS is still ahead for me. However, ADS is slowly closing the gap.

  • You spoke about Sand Dance early on.  I've never been able to get this to work in Linux, so I can't count this as a positive. Unless someone else has?

    Thom~

    Excuse my typos and sometimes awful grammar. My fingers work faster than my brain does.
    Larnu.uk

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