Review: OmniView Professional
OmniView Professional 2.0.4
Whether you're a developer or a DBA, it's likely that you work with
databases -- and if you're reading this, those may well be SQL Server
databases. Though there are any number of tools for working with SQL
Server databases -- Enterprise Manager, Query Analyzer, Microsoft Access
-- working with OmniView for a few days has convinced me that there's
room for one more.
OmniView Pro lets you work with multiple SQL Server tables in a rich interface. (Click on image for larger view)
Basically, this is the tool for the times when you need to get in,
inspect the data or a few objects, make some changes, and get out.
OmniView can work with tables, views, and stored procedures. What can it
do with them? Darned near anything. Just double-clicking a table opens a
datasheet, for example. You can open multiple datasheets on the same
table if you want to inspect far-flung rows. Data can be sorted,
grouped, or filtered with ease, and you can also edit it to your heart's
content. Even text and image columns are open for editing, thanks to the
binary editor built into the product. A "Multi-row update" pane gives
you a visual way to build and execute update queries on a table as well.
Stored procedures, too, can be executed. You can edit input parameters
and see output parameters and return values. Once you've executed a
stored procedure, all of the datasheet tools are at your disposal. You
can also create ad-hoc SQL statements and execute them. The query editor
features IntelliSense-like dropdown hints for object names and SQL
Everything is displayed in a tabbed interface, which offers some unique help for the user who isn't a database professional. For example, you can create your own
private views of a table, that persist sorting and column choices and so
on, and save them -- without changing the database at all. You can also
create groups of commonly-used objects. This is particularly useful if a
database has hundreds of objcts and you don't care to browse through
them all. OmniView also offers an easy filtering interface as well as export to Microsoft Excel, text, HTML, or XML.
What's missing? Well, OmniView is explicitly a data tool, not a design
tool. If you need to make design changes to items, you'll need to work
through a different tool. But for finding data quickly, and changing it
after you find it, this is a superior alternative.
For more reviews and opinions from Mike Gunderloy, click here.
Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.