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Friday, January 8, 2010

Microsoft SQL Server Wishlist

High on the list of designer and management features I would like to see in Microsoft SQL Server is the ability to create folders to group tables.

From an RDBMS perspective I would suggest that these tables be absolutely meaningless; I’m talking about pure user convenience.

Sure, we have filters support (through the context menu on Tables), but we don’t have a way to even save filters for later use.  Also, filters work great if you have common names and only by name do you wish to work with your tables, but it falls short if you want to work on a domain with variously named tables.

For instance, you might want to work on tables for customers, invoices and work orders, as well as the dozen or so history tables, the system data tables and others related to the domain.  No filter will easily be created to cover this gamut, and the filter is lost when you lose the connection to the server, restart Management Studio or decide you want to work with a different list of filtered tables.

Yeah, but “Work On” What?

What do I mean when I say work on?  I’m talking about when I’m authoring a diagram, or writing a stored proc (I make heavy use of the drag and drop features with tables and columns).  It’s just super handy to have a shorter list to work from.

How about this: instead of using folders, why not let me tag the tables?  Each tag you add could become a virtual folder and you apply as many tags as you like to each table.  That would be brilliant.

Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio – which is also the development environment of most ‘softies on the MS SQL stack – has come leaps and bounds in the last couple of builds, but compared to some of the features in other IDEs we work with daily there is still a lot of room for growth.

Here’s an old request I made: plug-ins.

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