The tools are probably the most ambivalent part of SQL Server 2005. Many DBAs that were using SQL Server 2000 are somehow disappointed. A lot of resentment comes from the performance of the tools. I will add some critique in one of my forthcoming blogs; here I am going to talk about good things.
I like the idea of having completely separate tools for development and administration. Finally, you can develop business intelligence (OLAP, Data Mining, SSIS, SSRS) projects like any other VS projects, including versioning them with VSS, although I would not invent a separate name for the tool. The name “Visual Studio” would be enough for me, additional name “Business Intelligence Development Studio” (BIDS) is somehow confusing. Nevertheless, I always wanted to have VS for BI development, and I finally got it.
The SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is a good shot from administration point of view. I like to have a single tool only to manage SQL Server, Analysis Services, Integration Services, Reporting Services and SQL Mobile. Scripting options are very powerful – besides generating scripts for existing objects, you can script actions. The SSMS includes many reports, and we will be able to add our own reports in near future. I also like the fact I can write T-SQL, MDX, DMX and XMLA queries with a single tool. However, I agree that just for writing a quick query, the tool is overwhelming. This leaves room for third-party vendors.
From other tools, let me mention SQL Profiler. The most important new feature is the possibility to trace Analysis Services. Finally, the sqlcmd command-prompt utility gives you many additional options compared to the old osql application. All together, I vote positive for the tools!
Besides projects, I spend about half of the time on training and mentoring. I am the founder of the Slovenian SQL Server and .NET Users Group. and the main author or coauthor of eleven books about databases and SQL Server. I also developed many courses and seminars for SolidQ.
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