There is a new release of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) now available – version 17.0. It feels like yesterday when SSMS 16 was released (June 2016). I’m not going to complain as it’s refreshing to see such the constant updates to SSMS now that it’s not tied in with the database engine installer.

To get the latest version, head to the download page and install the web-installer. SSMS 17 will install side-by side with previous versions of SSMS.

This latest release includes a lot of new functionality, namely with support for connecting to SQL Server on Linux. Please see the full SSMS changelog for a complete listing of enhancements and bug fixes. Sadly this release still doesn’t support the Dark theme. Hopefully this is something they add in a future release.

Installing SSMS 17:

sshot-280

Updated splash screen:

image

SSMS 17 icons have been updated to be consistent with VS Shell provided icons and support High DPI resolutions:

sshot-284

One of the nice additions to this release is the inclusion of “Presentation Mode”. There are 3 new tasks available via the Quick Launch (Ctr-Q):

  • PresentOn – Turns on presentation mode where the editor and environment fonts are larger
  • PresentEdit – Allows you to edit the presentation font sizes
  • RestoreDefaultFonts – Reverts back to the default settings

If you  are familiar with these commands in Visual Studio then you will  notice that there is currently no PresentOff command. Use RestoreDefaultFonts to turn off Presentation Mode.

Enjoy!

References

Download SSMS
Download SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)
SSMS Changelog
SSMS Release Notes

It’s been almost two months since SQL Server 2016 was released and today I’ll provide a quick overview of some of the benefits new with SQL Server Management Studio 2016 or also known as SSMS 2016.

New Installer

One of the first things I noticed when I installed SQL Server 2016 is that SSMS is no longer listed in the features for installation. This is because SQL Server Management Studio 2016 has become its own stand-alone installer that can easily be downloaded from the web. There is also a link in the SQL Server engine management tools which takes you to the web to download the separate installer for SSMS 2016.

By decoupling SSMS from the roughly two-year release cycle of the core product, the SSMS team is able to provide quicker releases for SSMS. In the two months since it’s released we’ve already seen two updates. From what I’ve read it looks like they’re on a monthly cadence – which is awesome!

sshot-301

Visual Studio Awesomeness

sshot-1

SSMS 2016 is now built upon the Visual Studio 2015 shell and unlike SSMS 2012 and SSMS 2014 that were based on Visual Studio 2010 this brings a number of improvements:

Performance

Now that SSMS 2016 is build upon the Visual Studio 2015 shell, it gets all the performance optimizations that came in versions of Visual Studio since Visual Studio  2010. This is something you’ll notice immediately when running SSMS 2016.

I don’t know why SSMS 2012 and SSMS 2014 weren’t updated to be based on the latest Visual Studio at the time. I guess timing was a factor and priority was probably put on the database engine and not the editor. Hopefully now that SSMS is decoupled from the database engine release cycle we will see SSMS be updated and based on newer versions of Visual Studio as they become available. 

Support for High-Resolution Displays

Anyone that is using a Microsoft Surface Pro or Surface Book will know the DPI issues that plagued previous versions of SSMS. SSMS 2016 finally provides first-class support for high-resolution displays. 

Removed dependency on .NET Framework 3.5

It’s always good to let go of dependencies on older frameworks like .NET Framework 3.5.

Automatic Updates

SSMS 2016 now automatically checks for updates on start-up and also provides a toast notifications within SSMS when a new release becomes available.

You also have the chance to manually check for updates rom the Tools menu as shown here:

check-for-updates

check-for-updates-dialog

Support for Themes

SSMS 2016 now comes with an additional them called Light. Any developer of Visual Studio will already recognize this theme and it’s a welcome addition. From what I’ve read online, the SSMS team is working on bringing a Dark theme to SSMS. Not sure when a Dark theme will be released but lets hope sooner than later. Everything just seems to run and look better in the Dark them.

themes

New Quick Launch and Find Dialogs

Another feature that comes with the Visual Studio 2015 shell is the new quick find dialog located in the upper right corner of the editor. SSMS 2016 also has the Quick Launch which is in the upper right corner of the window and allows you to quickly search for options, etc.

sshot-3

SSMS Azure Integration

The Table Designer is enabled for supporting Azure for SQL Database v12. The Database and Properties dialogs also work with Azure SQL Database v12.

Import and Export wizards also support Azure Database service tiers.

Next Steps

Download SSMS 2016: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt238290.aspx
Download SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt204009.aspx
Download new World-Wide Importers sample database

Ken Cenerelli

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