Review: Speed SQL IDE Pro

Speed SQL IDE Pro 1.5
Burlington, Massachusetts
(781) 229-6300

Back in January I reviewed mssalXpress, an IDE for working with Microsoft SQL Server. Since then, then product has been revised a couple of times, and it's been acquired by Imceda and renamed. I figured it was about time to give the latest version a spin on my computer.

Installation is a breeze; you run one setup to build a SQL Server database that's used by Speed SQL IDE Pro, and another setup to actually put the IDE bits on your computer. The database is used to store things like code snippets and version history, so the tool can avoid cluttering up your production databases.

The idea of Speed SQL Pro is to be able to do all of your database development from a single interface, from the simple to complex. So there are user interfaces for things like designing tables, nicely tabbed to let you look at columns, relationships, indexes, and so on. But there's a lot more as well.

For instance, you can put SQL Server objects under source code control here. If you're actively doing development, this is a big win; you can save versions of a single object rather than having to back up the entire database. Source control is completely integrated to the IDE, and works with Visual SourceSafe or other systems that implement the SCC API.

You also get an MDI editor for SQL statements here. In addition to the color-coding that you're used to from Query Analyzer, it adds a bunch of other goodies. My pick of the litter is "verify", which verifies syntax, executes a SQL statement, shows you the results - and then rolls back any data changes. That's an excellent tool for developing tricky statements. You also get IntelliSense-like name completion, as well as the ability to insert code templates and snippets easily. Of course you can maintain your own additions to the library of snippets.

Another nice touch is an integrated code repository. You can use this to store your own AutoCorrect entry (a boon to those of us who make the same typing mistakes over and over again), new object templates, and code snippets. Code snippets are bits of T-SQL that you'd like to reuse - perhaps a common header, or the skeleton of the way you like to write cursor code. Of course you can use these in any object easily after storing them.

Speed SQL IDE Pro is updated frequently; new versions have been appearing about every two weeks, with new functionality showing up all the time. You can download a 30-day evaluation version if you'd like to take a look.


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