SQL Server Tools - Recommendations

  • I've been using SQL Server since version 7 (now on 2000 sp3a) but the only admin tools I have used are the delivered Query Analyzer and Enterprise Manager.

    I've seen several vendors' advertisements for monitoring tools, db design tools, etc, and trying to decipher what they do can be pretty daunting.

    My question... what non-delivered tools do you use with SQL Server? Some seem prohibitively (sp?) expensive for a small organization like ours, so that is always a consideration.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


  • We just bought Idera's Diagnostic Manager.  I like it for it's ability to send alerts for all manner of server thresholds. It also logs quite a few performance statistics and has a convenient GUI for rebuilding indexes if you want to pick & choose the ones to rebuild.  It was quite a bit less $$ than some of the other products out there and seemed the best value for us.

    We all have different requirements, so check them out yourself. Most companies offer trial versions, so you can give them all a "test drive" and see what fits best.

  • Bob,

    To answer your question we would need to know what it is you need to or would like to achieve with these tools. Personally I have evaluated quite a few in the 5 or so years that I have been a DBA and have not found many that perform much more that Enterprise Manager, Query Analyzer, Profiler and Perfmon already do. These allow me to do anything that needs to be done on our failover clustered, replicating and full text enabled db's.

    That being said, we do use three other programs here: Embarcadero's DBArtisan (nothing more than a few of the tools already mentioned in a different GUI), Lumigent's Log Explorer (reads the transaction logs and allows you to undo bad things, I retrieved a proc I accidentally deleted a few days ago with it) and Imceda's/Quest's Speed Coefficient. There is another I looked at a while ago named DB Scanner from Internet Security Systems. At the time I was impressed but budget bound. It was good then and I will be looking into it again soon.

    My suggestion would have to be save your money unless you need an elaborate design tool such as ERWin or one of the above programs we use and invest in few good books.

  • We use the SQL Diff Tool from http://www.adeptsql.com/ compares SQL objects like tables & store procedures.

    And are thinking of getting the DBGhost Pro Tools from http://www.innovartis.co.uk

    Builds databases from scripts etc.

    Tim S

  • I also like Idera Diagnostic Manager -- we just completed a comparison test of monitoring tools, using demo licenses, and it was the clear winner for what we needed to do.

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