SQL Server - Useful Tools

At my new job we're using Microsoft SQL Server. I've been struggling with SQL Server Management Studio - it's big, bloated and seems to be missing some features I've grown used to with other database IDEs. I've found two useful additions which I'll review here:

SSMS Tools Pack

SSMS Tools Pack is an add-in for Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) ... It contains a few upgrades to the SSMS IDE that I thought were missing.

SSMS Tools Pack was the first tool I stumbled upon. Almost every SQL Server blog post I came across mentioned it. It's free and has a lot of functionality built in, most of which I haven't explored yet. But a few of the features I like so far...

Window Connection Coloring

There is nothing worse than running a delete or update script and realize that you are connected to production not development! Oops. Window Connection Coloring allows you to assign a color which appears as a dark bar across your SQL window. So when I'm connected to dev things are green. Production = red!

Window History

This gives you quick access to recently used queries and code.


Snippets! Very similar to Eclipse based snippets - these are short bits of code you can use to create shortcuts...


SSMS Tools Pack also included code formatter but it is very basic so I went searching for a solution...

SQL Beautifier / Code Formatter

Right now I'm evaluating two tools:

  1. SQL Code Formatter
  2. SQL Complete

SQL Code Formatter ($50)

They provide several versions of the tool - a stand alone version, and one that plugs into SMSS. I've been trying the SMSS plugin and it's very nice. Lots of options (over 80!) which allows you to configure things to your liking or company standards. SQL Code Formatter does one thing only and does it well.

SQL Complete (Free 'Express' version)

SQL Complete provides a fairly comprehensive formatter as well as some additional features like enhanced intellisense. I've been evaluating the free 'express' edition and so far it has met my needs. The formatter options are not as robust as SQL Code Formatter but so far they have been good enough.