Review: SQL Dev Pro

SQL Dev Pro 4.0
IT Development Professionals, Inc.

There are a batch of utilities out there designed to make it easier to work with Microsoft SQL Server from a development point of view. This one came recommended to me by a couple of people, so I thought it was time to take a look. Using Microsoft's own SQL-DMO layer for operations and Visual SourceSafe for source code control, it offers a bunch of flexibility and power.

To use SQL Dev Pro, you start by selecting a server and a database. That's pretty similar to the way that lots of other utilities work. What's unique here is how you pick the objects to work with. You can select all objects in a database, objects that match a pattern, or objects retrieved by your own query from the system tables. You can also group objects into projects for later use.

Once you've found the objects that you want to work with, SQL Dev Pro offers a list with a context menu and a batch of other controls for operations. Some of the things you can do here:

  • Compare object definitions in two different databases
  • Compare object data in two different databases
  • Create object scripts or data scripts
  • View dependencies
  • Suggest indexes

As you work with objects, a trace window keeps track of all the SQL that SQL Dev Pro is executing. You can move data between servers easily, recompile code, and search across the SQL for objects such as stored procedures and triggers. Versions of SQL Server from 6.5 forward are supported, though some features may not work with the oldest versions. There are a few loose ends here - for example, there's a scripting facility that appears to be as-yet undocumented - but overall, you might find this a useful tool if you're constantly switching between servers and projects on the SQL Server front. You can download a 15-day trial from their Web site.

About the Author

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.


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