Your Favorite IDE

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Your Favorite IDE

  • It depends on what OS I'm working on.  If I'm on Windows, I use SSMS, and if on MacOS, I use ADS, as I am likely using that IDE for most everything else on MacOS.  Key command compatibility is biggest problem on ADS, but no bigger a problem than usual Mac/Windows keyboard command differences.


  • I use Azure Data Studio for all of my PostgreSQL work, and about 1/3 of my SQL Server work. I don't use ADS when I teach, though, because it's so foreign to most of the students, and because the execution plans are missing most of the properties. If they got full execution plan support, especially in notebooks, I'd switch over.

    It's kinda frustrating because if you're supposed to use Azure Data Studio for writing & tuning queries, then it should support query plans.

  • Happy with SSMS - I've grown used to it over the years and know how to find the things I need. The only thing I miss is the TSQL debugger which they removed a few years ago. I didn't need it often, but when you need it you really need it.

  • SSMS for SQL Server. Advanced Query Tool for DB2. Visual Studio for C#.

  • SSMS all the way.  Every other IDE I have tried had some nice features that made me want to use it, but they all also lacked several important things that ultimately made them a no go.  In summary, SSMS is the most complete IDE and therefor the one I use.

  • When working with SQL my favorite editor is ADS. I really love it. However, if I want to get into SQL fast, I always go to SSMS. Working remotely as I have since March, SSMS has shown itself to be much faster starting up. If I want a quick look at a table's definition or relationships SSMS best ADS every time.

    I'm a developer using Microsoft technologies, so for me Visual Studio is what I spend my day in. I write a lot of C# code. However, I am coming to really enjoy using VS Code, especially for doing web development.


  • Because I've been working with Redshift, Postgres and DB2 (yeah, don't hold it against me), I've become a fan of dBeaver. I also use it with SQL Server for general things because I don't have to leave the IDE when switching databases. In general, I still use SSMS when I can, but do find myself doing more in dBeaver. I do like the notebook approach in Azure Data Studio and like to use it for presentations for both SQL Server and Postgres.

  • While I'm a BIG fan of SSMS and have been using it in its various guises over a couple decades, I've also grown quite fond DBVisualizer since it works better with database systems besides MS SQL Server. ADS hasn't quite scratched that itch for me and VS Code, while absolutely wonderful for coding/programming, hasn't quite made it into my favorite SQL editing list of tools. For coding/programming, I use the following in no particular order: VS Code, Notepad++, Pinegrow, VS, and Atom.

  • SSMS with SSMS Tools

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by  Jim.Parzych.
  • My favorite is still Query Analyzer, with its non-tabbed MDI windows.  SSMS is second, and while the notebooks really appeal to me, I find ADS even less attractive at present.  There are a few things that really bother me about SSMS, which I think Query Analyzer got right:

    • SSMS takes way too long to start up.  I have a fast not-very-busy computer, NVME C: drive, plenty of RAM, and SSMS still takes 17-25 seconds just to start.  I've done everything I can to make it start faster. Query Analyzer starts immediately.
    • SSMS is too file-oriented. I open a much-used query in a query window and run it against server A.  Try to do same so I can run against server B and compare results.  Can't be done, unless I'm willing to first re-name the file that holds my query (or waste another 71-25 secs and open another SSMS).  That was never my intent, just want to run same query in multiple query windows.  Typically/mostly I'm researching/troubleshooting, and working with queries, not files.  I run queries, maybe edit and run them, but SSMS' insistence on my saving them as separate files at the outset is infuriating.  It is not uncommon for me to save my work in a  chronological work folder when I'm done, but my mind isn't thinking about this at the outset.  I don't know at the outset what is utterly discardable and what should ultimately be saved for posterity.
    • One way to open a query in SSMS is to drag it in from explorer, and drop it onto an existing query--a new query window will be opened against that server, and populated with the dropped query.  Unless, that is, this query (file) is already open in SSMS--in that case focus will just be shifted to the existing query, which is connected to whatever server it was connected to before, not necessarily the connection on which I just dropped it.  Sometimes I don't realize that while I'm looking at the query I expect, it is an old one (not a new one I just dropped) and not necessarily connected to the server that I expect, which can lead to mistakes.  All this because SSMS is so file oriented.
    • Frequently I have 15-50 open query windows at a time.  With Query Analyzer, these might all be in one app instance, but more likely I'll have several app instances open at the same time.  I find SSMS increasingly difficult to navigate with 7 or 10 queries open.  I pin some to try to help organize things, but I find navigating many tabs onerous.  It would be easier if I allowed more info into the tab text, but then the tabs take up even more room and are even harder to navigate.  Dragging queries out of the main app doesn't work for me, really slows me down not having the toolbar associated with the query window, and I make mistakes.  The obvious workaround with SSMS is to simply fire up more instances, which I would if they didn't take so long to start.

    Every year or two I conduct a search for new tool that is like the old Query Analyzer, every year I'm disappointed.

  • Jim.Parzych wrote:

    SSMS with SSMS Tools


    That is what I use. Great combination. I also add Red Gate SQL Search. I'm open to better SQL IDEs but SSMS is the most reliable for specifically SQL Server work.

    -- webrunner

    A SQL query walks into a bar and sees two tables. He walks up to them and asks, "Can I join you?"

  • For me

    • SSMS = Server administration, adhoc query and manual deployment interface
    • Azure Data Studio = Run books and saved diagnostics procedures
    • PgAdmin, SQL Server Developer, MySQL Workbench = PostgreSQL, Oracle Developer,  MySQL Development
    • Visual Studio = SQL Server development (Database projects, SSIS etc), C#
    • Visual Studio Code = Powershell, HTML, JavaScript, Python (sometimes), everything else (if it's supported)
    • PyCharm = Python
    • Jupyter = Python (when working with the data scientists)
    • Sublime/Notepad++ = When all else fails

    I have to admit, SSMS and Azure Data Studio don't stand out as IDE's to me. I think of those more as database management tools (also a training/demo tool in the instance of ADS). I must be under valuing these tools. Our company's cloud adoption has been very start, stop (mostly stop) so maybe that's the area where I'm blind to the value. Makes me curious what I'm missing, functionality that I'm unaware of. Once upon a time I used script projects in SSMS but once Microsoft worked out most of the kinks with Database Projects (dacpac), database development has been all SSDT/Visual Studio for me (except Oracle, PostgreSQL and MySQL but I don't do a lot of dev for those, mostly just consume from).


  • SSMS all day long for SQL work.  VS for other coding.

  • SSMS has improved over the years and has proved to be stable. I just wish they add the dark theme like VS or spice up the interface a little. It’s the most boring interface ever and all the corporations use it because its free.

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