SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2019: A Free and Powerful Tool for SQL Server and Azure SQL Database
SSMS Download 2019: A Guide for SQL Server Users
If you are working with SQL Server databases, you might have heard of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), a powerful tool from Microsoft that lets you manage, configure, deploy, upgrade and administer your SQL Server instances and data. In this article, we will show you how to download and install SSMS 2019, the latest version of this tool, and how to use it for your SQL Server management and development tasks.
What is SSMS and why do you need it?
SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is an integrated environment that provides a graphical user interface (GUI) and a rich set of script editors for accessing, configuring, managing, administering, and developing all components of SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Managed Instance, SQL Server on Azure VM, and Azure Synapse Analytics. SSMS can also be used to access, configure, manage, and administer Analysis Services, Integration Services, and Reporting Services.
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SSMS features and benefits
SSMS provides many features and benefits for SQL Server users. Some of them are:
It is free and regularly updated by Microsoft.
It supports multiple SQL Server versions from 2008 to 2022.
It offers advanced user experience with features like IntelliSense, auto-complete, syntax highlighting, code formatting, error checking, debugging, etc.
It has various add-in options to extend its functionality and integrate with other tools.
It allows easy installation and customization of its components and settings.
It enables you to perform various tasks such as creating databases, tables, indexes, views, stored procedures, functions, triggers, users, roles, permissions, backups, restores, etc.
It allows you to query, design, and manage your databases and data warehouses using visual database tools such as Object Explorer, Query Editor, Template Explorer, Solution Explorer, etc.
It allows you to monitor and troubleshoot your SQL Server performance using tools such as Activity Monitor, Performance Dashboard Reports, Database Engine Tuning Advisor, Query Store, Extended Events, SQL Profiler, etc.
SSMS alternatives and competitors
Although SSMS is a popular choice among SQL Server users, there are also other tools that can be used to manage and develop SQL Server databases. Some of them are:
Azure Data Studio: A cross-platform tool that provides a modern editor experience with IntelliSense, code snippets, source control integration, and an integrated terminal. It also supports notebooks, extensions, and Azure integration.
DBeaver: An open source tool that supports multiple database types including SQL Server. It provides a universal database tool with a graphical user interface that supports data management, SQL editing, data analysis, and data visualization.
HeidiSQL: A lightweight tool that supports MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and Microsoft SQL Server. It provides a simple interface that allows you to browse and edit data, run queries, export/import data, and manage users and permissions.
dbForge Studio for SQL Server: A professional tool that provides a comprehensive set of features for SQL Server development, management, administration, data analysis, and reporting. It also supports database comparison, synchronization, refactoring, debugging, testing, - and more.
Depending on your preferences, needs, and budget, you can choose the tool that suits you best. However, SSMS remains a reliable and versatile tool that can handle most of your SQL Server tasks.
How to download and install SSMS 2019?
Downloading and installing SSMS 2019 is a simple and straightforward process. Here are the steps you need to follow:
SSMS installation media and requirements
SSMS 2019 is available as a standalone installer that can be downloaded from the Microsoft website. The installer is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 (64-bit), and Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit). The installer size is about 600 MB.
Before you install SSMS 2019, you need to make sure that your system meets the following requirements:
You have .NET Framework 4.8 or higher installed on your system.
You have Visual Studio 2015 Isolated Shell or higher installed on your system. If you don't have it, the SSMS installer will install it for you.
You have Internet access to download the required components and updates.
You have administrator privileges to run the installer and configure SSMS.
SSMS installation steps
Once you have downloaded the SSMS installer, you can follow these steps to install it:
How to download SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2019
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Double-click the installer file (SSMS-Setup-ENU.exe) to launch the installation wizard.
Accept the license terms and click Install.
Wait for the installer to download and install the required components and updates. This may take several minutes depending on your Internet speed and system performance.
When the installation is complete, click Restart if prompted or Close to exit the wizard.
SSMS configuration and customization
After you have installed SSMS 2019, you can launch it from the Start menu or the desktop shortcut. You will see the SSMS splash screen followed by the Connect to Server dialog box. Here you can enter the server name, authentication type, user name, password, and database name of the SQL Server instance you want to connect to. You can also click Options to configure advanced connection properties such as network protocol, connection timeout, encryption, etc.
Once you are connected to a SQL Server instance, you will see the SSMS main window with various menus, toolbars, windows, and panes. You can customize the SSMS layout and appearance according to your preferences by using the View menu or right-clicking on any window or pane. You can also change the SSMS settings such as fonts, colors, themes, keyboard shortcuts, etc. by using the Tools menu and selecting Options.
How to use SSMS 2019 for SQL Server management and development?
SSMS 2019 provides a comprehensive set of tools and features for SQL Server management and development. Here are some of the main components and tools that you can use:
SSMS components and tools
Object ExplorerA hierarchical tree view that displays all the objects in a SQL Server instance such as databases, tables, views, stored procedures, functions, etc. You can use Object Explorer to browse, create, modify, delete, rename, script, and manage these objects.
Query EditorA text editor that allows you to write, execute, and save SQL queries, scripts, and batches. You can use Query Editor to query, design, and manipulate data in your databases. You can also use Query Editor to debug, test, and optimize your queries using features such as IntelliSense, code snippets, syntax highlighting, code formatting, error checking, debugging, query plans, etc.
Template ExplorerA collection of predefined SQL scripts that cover common tasks such as creating databases, tables, indexes, views, stored procedures, functions, triggers, etc. You can use Template Explorer to access, modify, and execute these scripts as needed.
Solution ExplorerA project management tool that allows you to organize your SQL scripts into solut