I.3.3. Tools at Your Disposal

The breadth and quality of SQL Server's supporting tools are often the deciding factors in helping an organization decide to standardize on this database product. In this section, we enumerate and briefly describe some of the most useful tools in the SQL Server arsenal. To make things clearer, the tools are separated into the following categories:

  • Administration

  • Performance

  • Software development

I.3.3.1. Administration

For most professionals tasked with looking after a SQL Server instance, or developing new applications that rely on it, the SQL Server Management Studio is a tool that will soon feel comfortable. You can use it to perform just about any administrative task, as well as a host of additional operations. Figure 3-5 shows this valuable tool in action, configuring replication in this case.

Figure I.3-5. The SQL Server Management Studio.

In terms of tool coverage throughout the book, this technology is the star of the show: We use it to illustrate key concepts in just about every chapter.

Of course, Microsoft offers other tools of interest to administrators. For those readers who eschew these new-fangled administrative graphical tools, Microsoft offers the comfort of two old favorites: the SQLCMD character-based utility for entering direct SQL statements, and the Database Console Command (DBCC), which allows you to directly run a host of commands ...

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