Azure Data Studio is not Replacing SSMS

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Azure Data Studio is not replacing SSMS, but it is accelerating the speed of development, by adding feature that would take years to add to SSMS. These tools work together, hand-in-hand in some places. How so? Well, in SSMS 18+ you can right-click in many places and launch ADS with your current connection context. ADS fills in the gaps in SSMS, and opens new opportunities. One of the biggest features available in ADS but not SSMS are SQL Notebooks. Everyone should be using notebooks, even if just to show new employees how to connect to the environment. ADS also has the ability to install extensions so that you can work / edit in other languages, like PowerShell, Python, or even Docker containers. If you work with Postgres & SQL Server, ADS has been a no-brainer to use since earlier this year.

With the June release, ADS on Windows gained the ability to launch some of the SSMS wizards (like scripting out a database), without even having to open SSMS. With so many connections between SSMS and ADS, you should go ahead and start using ADS as your “daily-driver” as much as you can. There’s so much more out there to be done in the data world, and ADS helps you break down those barriers and enhance your value to your employer, pretty much instantly. Find something in ADS you don’t like? ADS is open-source so you can either fix it yourself and do a PR. Or you can log an issue on GitHub and converse directly with the Engineers building next month’s version of ADS.

Aaron Nelson is an award-winning author, public speaker, blogger, & leader in the SQL Server community. He has over 20 years of experience in architecture, business intelligence, development, and performance tuning of SQL Server. Aaron has received many certifications and is an eight-time winner of the Microsoft MVP Award.

Aaron leads the PowerShell Virtual Group of PASS ( ), helps run the GroupBy virtual conference, and is a volunteer at his local PASS chapter, AtlantaMDF. Aaron is now a Data & AI Consultant at Microsoft.