#TSQL2SDAY #101 Round-Up : My Essential SQL Server Tools

Tuesday 3rd of this Month I invited people in the SQL Server community to share which tools are essential to their daily work. I was really overwhelmed by the number of stories that the topic triggered. 22 in total took the time to write down and share which tools they use for their work chores.
Going through 22 posts and aggregating them has been taking more time than I had hoped for, since my trusted laptop broke down – blinking codes are well and alive I tell you!

Going through the lot, I found some similarities to the posts, and have categorized them accordingly. But first off a BIG thank you to all how participated!

Without further ado, here goes.

Relational Heavy Lifting

Kamil Nowinski (b|l|t) takes us through the classic stuff, I mean, the real classic stuff – some would call it vintage – by showing how Total Commander still has a place in the tool belt, this century 😉

Matthew McGiffen (b|l) shows how to set up a Central Management Server, in order to execute queries against multiple instances in ad-hoc scenarios, seamlessly. Very nice tip. Matthew also did a second post, lining up multiple tools he’s written about in the past, nicely aggregated in this post.

Jess Pomfret (b|l|t) does a really nice post on how Powershell and the dbatools has changed her way of working. Jess even provides some useful snippets to get you going. I share the same enthusiasm for Powershell as Jess does, and was very pleased to see homage paid to the dbatools – incredible tool. Best of luck on your speaking adventures!

Marek Masko (b|l|t) has a huge post on classic DBA tools as well as a pleasant surprise on testing using tSQLt. Also some good pointers to free community scripts and tools as well. Great read!

Tracy Boggiano (b|l|t) covers dbatools and a specific Powershell Command and T-SQL Stored Procedure, but also on Telegraf and VS Code.

Dan Clemmens (b|l|t) goes all in on DBA tools for statistics, execution plans and tracing, even including the legendary diagnostic scripts from Glenn Berry.

Steve Jones (b|l|t) has a huge list of free and paid tools, from SQL Server sentric tools to a good deal of process related tools – i.e. DevOps and such.
Also Steve manages to sneak in a reminder on the password thingy magicky, that, according to domain expert Troy Hunt we all should rely on, be it pwsafe or any other tool like that.

Doug Purnell (b|l|t) is short and concise in his praise of Ola Hallengren maintenance scripts  and Jared Zagelbaums extension of those in Powershell.

Warren Estes (b|l) is praising the usual suspects in the DBA field, but adds a couple of interesting options for productivity and benchmarking/testing and also rounds up a couple of SentryOne products.

Devon Leann Ramirez (b|l|t) is offering a thorough introduction to their free plan explorer offering. Devon also makes a good point in marking the company’s presence on the community. If you want the quick tour, head over to Vimeo.

Rob Farley (b|l|t) talks about two things I really hold dear; Coffee… and I forgot the other thing. No really, Rob has an excellent blog post on Live Query Stats (LQS), and what some of the use cases are for that feature/tool. There are more ways of using LQS than I had thought about – thanks for sharing!

Riley Major (b|l|t) share his story on how he works with Management Studio and how the cool could be improved to further support a common way of working. Besides the tips on SSMS Riley also lists his favorite (and not so favorite) tools.

The BI Power in Power BI

James McGillivray (b|l|t) is first and foremost writing about my trusted travel mate; The Kindle (App) as his favored tool of the trade. Besides that treasure trove books can be, James also has some pointers to daxformatter and a theme generator which is pretty hefty!

Community Zone

Jo Douglas (b|l|t) argues that the most important tool for any professional is networking and community, and it’s hard not to agree completely. Jo also writes about some great points of where to begin this journey.

Jason Brimhall (b|l|t) brings up the aspect of blogging itself as a great tool of the trade, and I have to agree here and couldn’t have stated it more clearly that Jason:

Blogging helps you become a better technical person.

Googlefoo is also described in Jason’s blog for this party, and he manages to sneak in a reference to his extensive work and blogging on Extended Events, which in itself is an awesome contribution.

Reid DeWolfe (b|l|t) offers a quick write up on classic DBA must haves; SQL Prompt, Plan Explorer and GitHub/SourceTree. Reid also describes some of the main benefits of the tools.


Garland MacNeil (b|t) brings another perspective into the party, by writing from a borrows laptop – not sure it was intentional, but I guess the exercise is very rich in terms of learning. I know others have been there too:

Chrissy LeMaire (b|l|t) has, surprisingly enough, not written about dbatools, and if you believe in that you may call me Bill 🙂
In Chrissys blog post you’ll find a great list of auxiliary tools for all the things you do around programming; Screen shot/Image handling, code repositories, clip board management and video editing tools.

Josh (b) gives us the DevOps perspective of a Database DBA/Developer in a not so uncommon scenario – well, I think we’ve all been there at some point. Some prominent 3rd party tooling is getting some ❤

The Other Tools

Catherine Wilhelmsen (b|l|t) offers a completely different and refreshing view on tools that were completely new to me, at least. Going from database modeling to data generators to time keeping tools and beyond.

Finally, No Tools

Hugo Kornelis (b|l|t) makes a good argument on not becoming addicted/dependent on the presence of certain tools in order to perform your job. I guess this applies in particular, when you’re a consultant and can’t always BYOD. Apart from that Hugo really likes SQL Prompt and Plan Explorer 😉

The Tools Mentioned (in no particular order)

dbatools dbatools  PowerShell  dbareports  SQL Server Management Studio
 Redgate SQL Compare  Minionware  Sentry One Plan Explorer dbachecks  SQL Operations Studio
 SQL Database Modeler  Dynamic Restore Script  Scooter Software Beyond Compare  Redgate DLM Dashboard  Ola Hallengrens’s maintenance scripts
 Trello  SQL Server Data Tools  Passwordsafe  Sublimetext  Notepad++
 Redgate SQL Prompt  Mockaroo  Dropbox Visual Studio Code  SQLCover
 Sourcetree  SQLNexus  Coblis  tSQLt  Advanced Theme Generator (PowerBI)
 DAX Formatter  R Studio  Scale SQL Clear Trace   PSSDiag  Devart’s dbForge
 Toggl  Grammarly  SCD Merge Wizard Statisticsparser  Adam Machanics whoisactive
 Winmerge  Mythicsoft Agent Ransack  Redgate SQL Search    Glenn Berry’s Diagnostic Scripts



3 thoughts on “#TSQL2SDAY #101 Round-Up : My Essential SQL Server Tools

  1. tsepass Reply

    Excellent post. The information you provided is useful to all of us. Keep on posting like this. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.