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Matt Whitfield avatar image
Matt Whitfield asked

Denali SSMS - looking forward or back?

Ok, so there's a lot of chat at the moment about Denali SSMS not supporting X, Y and Z keyboard shortcut that it used to support, etc. I was wondering what people thought about it? Personally, I am a big fan of the breaking change. I am glad that Microsoft have deprecated a lot of stuff in .NET because they didn't actually get it right in the first place. I am also certainly in favour of making stuff more common between database and development environments. Having SSMS based on Visual Studio is a big step towards that, but keyboard shortcut commonality etc is a big plus - certainly, I have tried to do that in my editor where possible - especially with the more useful chords (for example, Ctrl+K,C for comment lines, Ctrl+K,U for uncomment). So my question is, should the fat be trimmed and the feature set bought more into line with todays standards, or should it still be supporting keyboard shortcuts from v6.5? And, should it still be supporting old-style features where newer style features exist (a case in point being old-style templates versus new style snippets)... ?
ssmssubjectivekeyboard
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WilliamD avatar image
WilliamD answered
@Matt - great question +1. I reckon that a break from the old is a good thing. VS as the backbone for SSMS is a vast improvement, seeing the language engine usage really does show how "broken" SSMS/Query Analyser really are as IDEs. It is great to see MS finally giving T-SQL developers some love! They are also steering those devs into the direction of structured development/release cycles, which as a DBA, I can only applaud. Integrating the schema comparison abilities more into the tool is a great move, I can only hope that source control integration works as well (although there is no reason for it not doing that). As far as parity with v 6.5 and the like - I'm sorry, but people will have to get with the times! SQL 2000 is no longer supported, I know it is still probably the most used DB engine from MS (aside from Access!), but you cannot keep holding back the IDEs etc. to support stuff that is over a decade old. MS do need to keep some of the stuff though - as you say about useful chords. I can't imagine it being too much of a problem - I think they even mentioned that the current CTP didn't have all the chords supported, but it is going to support the newer/sensible stuff later on. I realise that they are stealing some of your and redgate's market by introducing some of the stuff you have, but it was long in the coming and needed to be addressed. I am sure that you will keep ahead of anything they have to offer - the stuff you produce seems to pop-up in a way that makes me think "God - why hasn't anyone made this yet!".
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Thanks - that makes a lot of sense - and thanks for the compliment! :)
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Fatherjack avatar image
Fatherjack answered
I'm all for change that in convergent and therefore allows the users actions to be IDE agnostic. In order to achieve this everyone will have to accept change to a greater or lesser extent. Where it comes to templates vs snippets then my main concern would be that there is a tool/facility to convert from one to the other. If thats there then all well and good. Note: This is all without seeing Denali as I dont have access to an OS that it will install on.
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Tool / facility to convert templates to snippets, eh?? :)
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I see what you're doing now Matt - a little bit of market research on the sly to find out what your next cool tool should be! ;) @Everyone Else - we just need to collect our pain-points, make a sensible design spec and send them to supercooldesignideas@atlantis-interactive and Matt will make them for us - W00T!
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@WilliamD - Well, I'm always on the lookout for interesting ideas - but the main reason I asked is because I think actually SSMS has taken a great step forward with Denali - but that doesn't seem to be the general consensus... So that got me thinking :)
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Yeah - just pulling your leg. It is an interesting topic - it happened back when QA was replaced with SSMS too. I think that polarised the SQL Server community much more than this iteration will though. I know you are no fan of SSMS - I myself thought that the move to combine the two tools from SQL 2000 was a smart move and liked the change. There were some problems, but not as painful as some think/thought. I have only played with the new SSMS a little bit at home, but definitely look forward to a more polished version next year when the next CTP comes out.
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@WilliamD - I know what you mean. The main thing about SSMS for me is the 'jack of all trades' nature of it - having so much in one app means that certain things can't be specialised to the job that they do. A case in point in my apps - I was talking to Mladen Prajdic about Schema Surf filtering - and he came up with some ideas that relate really well to Schema Surf, but the filtering dialogue is used in all my apps, so it doesn't make sense to implement those changes. In actual fact, it was fairly simple to think up a different way to achieve the same thing - but the point about specialisation being the antithesis of generalisation is what I'm getting at really...
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KenJ avatar image
KenJ answered
I don't have any heartburn over keyboard shortcuts, but do have to wonder what is the problem with keeping this available as an option. Maybe it's the famous non-developer comment "it's just a drop-down box" ![alt text][1] I'm sure it's incredibly difficult to maintain one keyboard mapping for a management tool and a separate one for an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Let's acknowledge that SQL Server Management Studio is, in fact, a management tool and not an IDE -- Microsoft admits as much in the product name. If you want an IDE and its related keyboard shortcuts, MS will sell you [Visual Studio Team System Database Edition][2] (VSTSDB) Do you want to create a script-based source control integrated database project -- something widely acknowledged to be a best practice? SSMS won't do it for you, but VSTSDB will. Do you want to compare database schema and/or data? SSMS won't do it for you, but VSTSDDB will. On the other hand, if you want a good SQL Server management tool to - monitor your server's activity. VSTSDB won't do it, but SSMS will. - manage all aspects of your database server and databases. VSTSDB won't do it, but SSMS will. I'm a big fan of convergence where convergence makes sense, I'm just not sure that Visual Studio is the right place to do day-to-day server maintenance. These gradual migrations of SSMS into the Visual Studio paradigm should only be done with careful thought and due diligence. Just because a keyboard shortcut worked in SQL Server 6.5 isn't reason enough, by itself, to throw it out. [1]: /upfiles/keyboard_shortcut_mapping_1.png [2]: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/gertd/archive/2007/11/21/visual-studio-team-system-2008-database-edition.aspx
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This is really interesting - because it is actually how I feel about SSMS (i.e. it's a management tool but not too great for development) - but most people seem to treat it as an IDE... And I totally agree, just because a shortcut worked in 6.5 isn't a reason to get rid of it - but by exactly the same token I would say it isn't a reason to keep it either, if you see what I mean?
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I definitely see what you mean. Intertia for the sake of inertia makes about as much sense as change for the sake of change :) I love some of the additions they've made to SSMS over the years, multi-server queries come right to mind, and I don't have a lot of sentimental attachments to the things they have left behind (or still could!)
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I agree with the comments but you have to think like the marketing team at MS. "change for the sake of change" is really change for the sake of having something different to peddle because it is improved and will make your team uber proficient, save dev time, more secure and less maintenance in the cloud so upgrade now blah blah
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