SQL Server Management Studio – A jack of all trades?

SQL Server Management Studio is a massive application – it aims to bring in the many facets of SQL Server into one application, meaning that there is an awful lot to it. However, it isn’t a development environment, nor is it a management environment – it’s an everything environment. For some, this works brilliantly, but for others a focused environment that allows them to work on the area in which they work most efficiently proves to be the best solution.

This is why SQL Everywhere does not try and replicate the functionality of SQL Server Management Studio. SQL Everywhere is a development environment – focusing purely and simply on the development of Transact-SQL. There are good reasons for doing this, too:

  • By remaining it’s own application, SQL Everywhere is able to minimize the amount of code that is loaded into memory while running, meaning it presents a lightweight alternative.
  • Because of the way registrations and default editor contexts are used, SQL Everywhere allows you to interact with the project you are working on straight away, there is no need to manually connect to the database you need.
  • SQL Everywhere starts faster than SSMS, and, factoring in the time needed to connect to a database, allows you to get to work in roughly half the time.
  • SQL Everywhere can present a much cleaner interface through being it’s own application – functionality such as the tab hover preview – whereby hovering over a tab shows a preview of the screen that the tab presents – would simply not be possible if SQL Everywhere was a plugin to SQL Server Management Studio.

We believe that it’s better to try and keep distinct functionality distinct. Would you buy a car where half of the engine bay was dedicated to cutting timber? Would a shower that also doubled as a drill be much use to you? While these are silly examples, the demonstrate the thinking behind SQL Everywhere – in that the functionality that it presents is strictly related to the development of Transact-SQL and Transact-SQL databases. The same can be said of our other products – Schema Inspector is focused simply on comparison and synchronization of database schema, Data Inspector does the same for data. Data Space Analyzer analyses index space usage and Data Surf helps navigate your database data.

There is some cross-over in these tools, for example, Data Surf is integrated into SQL Everywhere, because it’s functionality is still related to development, and the convenience of integration in that respect is a bonus. But having everything integrated into one solution leaves you with a jack of all trades, and master or none. This is why we have taken a different approach to SQL Server Management Studio – we want our applications to excel in the area that they address, rather than address all areas just enough.