Today was Quest Software’s bi-weekly Pain-of-the-Week webcast and this week’s topic was Getting Started with SQL Server Management Studio. We were lucky enough to have not one, but two SQL rock stars presenting today in Brent Ozar (Blog | Twitter) and Michelle Ufford (Blog | Twitter).
Brent kicked it off with a quick intro and then handed it over to Michelle to walk us through the basics such as creating a database, adding tables/columns/objects/etc as well as going through all the options available such as creating Maintenance Plans, creating backups from within SSMS, and the SQL Server Agent. They even demoed some of the nice little tools available in the latest SSMS such as activity monitor and the built-in reports. A question was raised about if the new SSMS offered a view equivalent to the taskpad view in SQL 2000 Enterprise Manager and the answer is…kind of. If you’re using SSMS 2008 (which you should be since you can install it without having to have a SQL 2008 instance) that view has been replaced by the built-in reports. You can access the reports by right-clicking your Instance or even a database itself, go to Reports, go to Standard Reports and select which report you’d like to view. And like we learned yesterday, some of these reports come from our default trace! Another fun tidbit of information learned from this presentation was that if you choose to (granted this isn’t recommended) right-click a table and select the Edit Top 200 records, it opens the records in an Access-like grid and allows you to change data directly. But this is cool and useful, why isn’t it recommended? Well when you open records like this it puts a lock on those records so nobody else can get to them. So in a production environment clearly this is a no-no but at least you know the feature’s there. For the record the recommended method would be to do something like this:
SET column1=value, column2=value2,...
After Michelle wrapped up our tour of SSMS, Brent then gave us a quick tour of Quest Software’s Toad for SQL Server product. This is a pretty slick product that is aimed towards the development community. It gives you basically the same things as SSMS for the most part but it also gives you so much more. For instance you are able to do a query and re-sort your results using column sorting as you would in Excel (i.e. click column name to change order). You can also do filtering via this method as well. What’s the big deal about this? Well every time you change your ordering you don’t have to make a roundtrip to the server to re-query your data, it holds everything locally so its speedy. This is where Borat pops up and says “very niiiiiiiiice”. There was also some slick thing it did with pivots but that was the point where my desktop froze so all I got was audio from the phone call, though the people commenting on Twitter seemed to like…whatever it is it did. But don’t take my word for it, try it out yourself and go download a 30-day demo of the product at Quest’s website!
That pretty much summed up the webcast this week! They’ll be doing a follow-up webcast on June 11th with more advanced tips as well. you can register for that webcast here. If this post didn’t quite do it for you, you can catch all POTW webcasts on-demand over at Quest’s website. Today’s presentation should be up in a few days.