Thursday, January 21, 2016

SSMSBoost - A Productivity Tool

SSMSBoost Tips and Trips    (

Today I typed up a little "tips and tricks" document for the various teams I work with and figured heck, why not share it with everyone?  As you can see, I had to obfuscate some of the database/connection information with white boxes.  Hope the tips come in handy!

Tip 1: Locate Object – when you have hundreds or sometimes thousands of tables to comb through, this feature makes it very simple to locate an object with a couple clicks.  Simply hover over the object (normally a table), right-click and click “Locate object in Object Explorer”.  All the menus will expand and send you right to the object.


Tip 2: Easily switch connections – I often switch between connections, which natively is a little cumbersome (Right-click > Connection > Change Connection, etc.).  With SSMSBoost, you can define your Preferred Connections.  For each connection, as you can see below you can also choose a default database that it will connect to rather than master by default.

The color coding is nice as well.  I choose to set all production servers to have a red Status Bar (see Tip 1 image).  That way I know when I’m connected to production and when I’m not.  Once you have configured your Preferred Connections, you’ll note the Connections drop-down in the SSMSBoost ribbon will contain them all for quick switching between instances:

Tip 3: Fatal Actions Guard – Let’s face it – we’ve all likely ran a query and forgot to put a where clause, or perhaps you clicked F5 to truncate a table in dev… BUT you were in production.  At least this feature gives you one last chance to change your mind if you really didn’t mean it.

Preview of the popup that will appear upon execution:

Tip 4: Results Grid aggregates – Some people do a lot of calculations with their data, whether it’s sales data or whatever.  You end up saving the query results to Excel and about five minutes later you have the totals, etc.  With SSMSBoost, you can have your totals in seconds.  Below I’m selecting 10 records from a sales related table.  Say I want to get the SUM, MIN, MAX and Count of the SALEPRICE.  All I do is slide my mouse down the column highlighting the cells and a pop-up will appear with that information:

Tip 5: Format SQL – Not every developer has a tSQL formatting tool.  SSMSBoost does come with one if you want to use it.  Your teams could all configure the tool for the same sort of formatting for consistency sake.


Tip 6: History – How many times have you wanted to retrieve a query from a few days ago?  Maybe SSMS crashed, or you wanted to revert back to another version.  You can customize the History feature to suit your needs.  In the example below I searched for UPDATE – I know I ran an update a few days ago, but I don’t recall the exact syntax.  Not a problem: