Developers are constantly looking for ways to make SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and Visual Studio (VS) easier and more efficient to use. One such developer, Mladen Prajdic, is a SQL Server Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) for SQL Server 2005. He created the SSMS Tools Pack as part of his daily work with SQL Server and .NET in C#. The SSMS Tools Pack is a set of plug-ins that enhances SSMS’s functionality and bridges the gap between SSMS and VS. These plug-ins provide developers with features that aren’t otherwise available in SSMS. The SSMS Tools Pack includes the following tools:

  • CRUD Procedure Generation—Many SQL Server experts advocate that users shouldn’t directly access tables for data manipulation. Instead, they encourage developers to build applications in which users access either views or stored procedures to perform data manipulation tasks. This tool generates stored procedures that perform all of your create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) operations. You can also use this tool to insert templates into T-SQL code and fully customize templates to meet any other needs you might have, such as updating a table’s statistics or checking its size.
  • Generate INSERT Statements—Sometimes it’s useful to create an INSERT statement for each row of data in a table because then you can use the script to insert new records into other SQL Server instances without having to use replication or DTS. This tool generates an INSERT statement for each row of data in the database starting with tables that have primary keys and no foreign keys, and then going in dependency order. Binary data and large data types, such as image and text columns, can also be scripted if they contain fewer than 3MB of data in the large object (LOB) column. When adding scripts to a datagrid, the resulting INSERT statements are placed into a temporary table for later use.
  • Query History—This tool logs every statement that you run in SSMS to a file on the local disk or to a table in the specified database, making it easy to recall frequently used statements or to track all the changes made to source code between the check-out time and check-in time of the source T-SQL code.
  • Query Template—The query template tool enables certain code, such as a comment block or a standard block of T-SQL exception-handling code, to appear whenever you start a new query. This tool can save developers a lot of time if your organization has certain coding standards that all developers must adhere to.
  • Search—Often times, the particular occurrence of the search string you’re looking for will appear in different areas of the graphical execution plan window, especially when the execution plan is very large. This tool lets you find all occurrences of a given search string in an execution plan(s) or in the results that are returned in the datagrid.
  • Text Regions—Text regions enhance the usability of SSMS and increase your productivity as a T-SQL programmer by enabling you to expand or collapse large regions of T-SQL code in SSMS. Figure 1 shows how you can expand text regions by clicking the \[+\] symbol or collapse them by clicking the \[-\] symbol.

The SSMS Tools Pack is available for SSMS and SSMS Express. Because the SSMS Tools Pack is an add-in to SSMS and SSMS Express, you must have SSMS installed.

The SSMS Tools Pack

Benefits: The SSMS Tools Pack provides developers with tools that enhance SSMS’s functionality.

System Requirements and Notes: SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server Express; SSMS or SSMS Express

How to Get It: You can download the SSMS Tools Pack from www.ssmstoolspack.com.