Tools of the trade

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, nice and simple, just want to list the tools that I use on a day-to-day basis and hopefully a couple of them may be new to someone out there. Btw – if anyone uses anything else regularly and thinks I should be, let me know!

So first off has to be SQL Server Management Studio. There are other applications out there that can be used to administer/query SQL Server but I’m yet to find one that beats SSMS. Sure, it has it’s problems but for ease of use and the sheer amount of plugins available, I can’t see myself ever using anything else (thankfully it’s now available separately from SQL Server itself, how long did it take Microsoft to do that??).

Here’s the plugins that I have (they’re all free ‘cos I’m cheap): –

SQLSentry Plan Explorer
Everyone should have this installed, if you don’t…go install it now. Seriously, do it now.

RedGate SQL Search
Great tool for finding objects in your SQL instances. Don’t use it that much but it’s awesome to have already there when needed.

SSMSBoost
To be honest, I only ever use the the option to format SQL on a regular basis and if you only want that you could be better off downloading the Poor Man’s T-SQL Formatter. However the option to restore previously closed tabs has been a lifesaver in the past.

Here’s some of the other tools I use on a daily basis (again all free, did I mention that I’m cheap?): –

Edit – BeyondCompare isn’t free, you have a 30 day free trial and then it’s $30 (well worth it)

Terminals
Good RDP tool, I admit that I haven’t really tried any others as this does exactly what I need

Notepad++
I don’t think I need to say anything about this. I’ve tried other text editors (atom is pretty cool) but nothing imho comes close to this.

Launchy
I love this tool. I really love this tool. If you’re not using it, go and download it now. Yes it’s an application launcher it’s also much more. I use it as a app launcher but also to search for files/folders and run .bat scripts that perform maintenance tasks on my laptop. Very cool, go and download it.

QDir
For moving files around, I can’t recommend this enough. Loads of options, easy to use and navigate. There’s hundreds of multi-pane file explorers out there but I’ve found that this one has the best user experience (not that I’ve tried all of them mind).

BeyondCompare
If you have to compare scripts, this is a life saver. I often have to review changes being made to stored procedures this tool easily allows me to see the differences between the existing and new code. This has saved me hundreds of hours (not exaggerating).

Thanks for reading!

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