Many people don’t know about all the database tools such as Visual InterDev in Visual Studio. I discovered this when one of our clients was talking about creating a Web project to manage his databases. I suggested using Visual InterDev’s database project and he said, "What’s that?"

A database project in Visual InterDev is a project type that provides a connection to one or more databases. The database project lets you access all the Visual Database Tools and their features without having to resort to a Web-based project. This setup makes using Visual InterDev features easy and provides a simple project metaphor for accessing them.

You can create a database project by clicking the Visual Studio projects folder in the New dialog box in Visual InterDev or another tool that the Visual Studio shell hosts. Click New Database Project, then Open. Next, the wizard will walk you through the process of creating one data connection. This is the first data connection in the project. You can add as many data connections as you need to the project later. You can change a connection’s default name by right-clicking the connection and selecting Rename from the shortcut menu.

After you have a data connection, you can edit SQL queries, stored procedures, views, and triggers. You can also save SQL queries as files for later reuse. This feature is handy when you need to execute or modify queries periodically. And, you can use the Windows clipboard to copy and paste SQL from one place to another.

Database projects also let you use the design tools to create and modify tables and relationships. The design tools provide an easy way to see the graphical view of a database. You can use this graphical view to create, modify, and delete tables.

Database projects give you a simple interface to your database for many management purposes. This feature is especially useful when you have Visual InterDev installed on a system and not Enterprise Manager. The tools in Visual InterDev also work across the Internet, letting you work remotely with databases, which is handy when your database is on an ISP server.