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Top 3 SQL Server Management Studio Enhancements with SQL Server 2016

Author: Eric Russo | 3 min read | July 13, 2016

My journey working with various versions of SQL Server has me looking more scrupulously at each new release that hits the shelves. When SQL server 2016 was introduced with the first CTP bits and later the RC bits, I was surprised to see a number of things added that caught my eye. This blog is dedicated to the feature that caught my eye first: the new SQL Server Management Studio look and feel.

On the outset, it looks very similar to the Visual Studio shell. If you’ve never used them, a lot of things will look fresh, but to those of us who have, the interface is very familiar. The integration of VS Shell makes this new version powerful for SQL developers. In this blog we will discuss some of the other neat capabilities that I also found powerful.

First, it is easy to see that once you open up a large script file, the cursor location is nicely highlighted using a grey marker. This is quite subtle but gives a neat highlighter to the solution; it’s tough to miss. Here’s how it looks:

The next notable feature added as part of SSMS is the ability to know what is going on in a big script. If you right-click the right scroll bar and open the options, you will be able to get a narrow view of your entire script file. The best part is, it highlights different areas in different colors. “Yellow” markers indicate that there is code that is not yet saved. “Red” markers show we have some syntax errors and so on.

If you hover over these markers, as featured below, you can look at the actual code that is causing that error in the tool tip window (right arrow). And if we click on it, it will take us to the actual code block too. This will look like:

I personally feel these are powerful and interesting capabilities with the SQL Server Management Studio 2016. If you are looking at the Scroll bar settings, the options include:

Try to play around with each of the check boxes – you will be surprised to see all the different flavors. Go ahead and optimize and customize the experience to your own preferences.

Do let me know if you changed any of these. Do you feel these are interesting additions? I would love to get your thoughts as I felt these were fresh additions to SSMS.

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