SQL Query Analyzer 2005

No such thing unfortunately. If you have moved to SQL server 2005, your world of Enterprise Manager and SQL Query Analyzer has been replaced with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). This is a great new IDE, but now I need to go through several clicks just to write a query…

Start SSMS (Click: 1), Let’s assume that all the settings are ok on the connect screen, click Connect (Click: 2). The IDE opens and you need to click ‘New Query’ (Click: 3). If you haven’t set your default database up or you need to change it, then click the database list and click your database (Click: 5).

If the settings weren’t correct on the Connect dialogue, then you are looking at up to 10 clicks before you can start writing a query! So, the out the box experience seems to be flawed and geared for RSI or more sales of ergonomic mice.

All is not bad though. When you click on the shiny ‘SQL Server Management Studio’ icon, you are launching an executable called SqlWb.exe. This appears to be a legacy of the tools original name ‘SQL Work Bench’. If you run this exe from the command line with /? you will see that it supports a few command line switches.

The first switch to catch my attention was -nosplash. I’m sure many usability experts will tell me that it is used to make an application response appear faster, but in most cases I’ve found nosplash == quicker startup. This is one of those cases.

So, we’re closer to Query Analyzer … Try the following.

    1. Copy the ‘SQL Server Management Studio’ shortcut to your desktop
    2. Right click it and go to Properties
    3. At the end of the Target, add your switches e.g. -nosplash -S SQLServerInstance1 -E -D Adventureworks
    4. Change the icon and rename the shortcut to Query Analyser 2005

Using the switches in #3, I now have single click access to ‘Query Analyzer’ , and it starts up a whole lot quicker than going the normal route. You’ll still need to connect to the Object Explorer if you forget some of your schema, but for the quick query, this new shortcut is more efficient.


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