So lately, I've been tasked with working with several databases where the number of tables and views within the databases number into the low thousands. As you can imagine when working with any kind of long list, the amount of time spent scrolling and searching for the objects you are interested in proves to be a pain point after a while. In SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), you do have the ability to set filters, but they aren't persistent and they are limited in value. For my purposes, the filters helped, but not nearly as much as I would have liked. So, my first thought was that I wished there was a way that I could create a persistent "folder" structure. After a quick search of the web, I wasn't able to find anything out there that was what I was looking for, but I did find code samples on creating SSMS add-ins. I was pretty much resigned to trying to write an add-in myself to do what I wanted to do in SSMS.
After discussing my thoughts about this with a co-worker, he made me aware of a free add-in (SQL Treeo) created by Jakob Dvorak that does a lot of what I was looking for. It allows me to create persistent "virtual" folders as a hierarchy to organize the database objects into a far, far more manageable interface. As noted in his forum, the add-in is an alpha version and still a work in progress. I've used it now for a month and give it positive feedback. There are some bugs and there are a couple modifications that would be nice to have, but all up, it is a solid piece of development and well worth a try (Note: currently it is only available for SQL Server 2008 R2 client). If you're working with hundreds of tables within a database, it may just make you more productive (as it has for me) and reduce your frustration with constantly having to scroll up and down to find a table or view.
Tags: SQL Server, SSMS, Add-In, Productivity, Databases
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