UPDATE: See the more recent post Top 10 Free SQL Server Tools
Maybe there is no such thing as a free lunch but who cares when there are awesome tools for SQL Server that are available for free!
That’s right, you can make life a whole lot easier for yourself by maximising your valuable time so you can concentrate on the good stuff and the best part is you can do so for free.
We all know that there are some great applications and tools out there for working with SQL Server. Polished enterprise grade products from the likes of those clever people at Quest and RedGate, for example. Products for managing and simplifying the most important of SQL Server tasks such as backups and performance monitoring. These products are awesome but “what can I get my hands on for free”, I hear you cry.
Here are my Top 5 Free SQL Server Tools.
- BIDS Helper
- SQL Server Management Studio Tools Pack
- Sort SQL Server Project Files
A Visual Studio.Net add-in packed full of features that extend and enhance the functionality of the SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 BI Development Studio (BIDS). There is something for everybody here that uses BIDS to develop SQL Server solutions.
SQL Server Managment Studio Tools Pack
This is a fantastic add-on for SQL Server Management Studio that was developed by Mladen Prajdić.
Some of my personal favourite features include: Window Connection Coloring, Copy execution plan bitmaps to clipboard and Run one script on multiple databases.
Check it out here: http://www.ssmstoolspack.com/
Sort SQL Server Project Files
Just like all good Database Administrators, I like to ensure a little order to my world by implementing structure and keeping things appropriately organised. Alright, I admit it, I’m a control freak. If I need to dive into my source code, or even worse someone else’s source code, that has not been touched for quite some time, I do not want to have to wade through a mass of jumbled T-SQL scripts in order to find what I am looking for. You too may have noticed that one of the daft operational behaviours of the Project structure within SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is that all the files/scripts you create are stored within the project view in the order in which they were created.
This nifty little Add-In to SSMS called SortSQLProjectFiles can be used to sort the the files/scrips contained within your SSMS Project file, by simple choosing an option from the Tools menu or you can add two buttons to the SSMS menu.
Just be sure to save a copy of your project file before attempting to sort your content. Personally I have never had any issues using this Add-In but I certainly do not need to tell you people about the importance of backing up data right.
Here’s a great tool for working with SQL Server trace files. ClearTrace imports SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 trace and profiler files into SQL Server and displays summary performance information.
Get your hands on ClearTrace here: http://www.cleardata.biz/cleartrace/default.aspx
There is also a video demonstration for the tool on the site.
SQL permissions is a freeware tool that generates a customizable T-SQL script to configure logins and permissions on one server to match another. SQL permissions lets you move one login, or a group of logins and apply permissions across all databases on the target server, or a single database.
Get SQLPermissions here: http://www.idera.com/Products/Free-Tools/SQL-permissions/
There you have it, my Top 5 Free SQL Server Tools and I bet there are loads more out there too. What free tools do you use to increase your productivity when working with SQL Server?
More Fee SQL Server Tools
Still want more? Then check out this listing of even more Free SQL Server Tools.
For all the latest on Free SQL Server Tools, scripts for making life easier and product reviews from other professionals just like you, visit the Reader Recommendations area on the Community Forum.