Tools And Tips

This page list’s all the little utililties/wesites/tools I use and which can be useful to you. I will keep on adding more to this so hopefully this will be a live page.

SSMS Tools Pack: This is,IMHO, a must have SSMS addin. It is completely free  It is free till SQL Server 2008 R2 version so you can start using it right now however for 2012 version you would have to buy a license. It has a number of features which would make your life much easier when working in SSMS . Some of my favourites are search in the databases,window connection coloring, SQL Snippets and query execution history.

BIDS Helper: If you are a business intelligence developer, this is THE visual studio addin you need. It has some of the most handy features, it supports all the versions of SQL Server and it’s free.

Instant SQL Formatter: SSMS Tools pack has SQL formatting functionality but this tool takes it further. What’s more, it is online so you don’t have to install anything. There are settings you can tweak to format the query to your needs.

Online XML Formatter: On the same lines as Instant SQL Formatter, this is an online formatter for XMLs. It does a pretty decent job with large XMLs to make them more readable. I particularly use this to format dtsConfig files SSIS generates.

MDX Formatter : Continuing  the theme of nicely formatted code, MDX Formatter online will format your MDX queries. This especially useful for the messy queries SSRS and Excel generates. How do you get the MDX queries from excel? You may ask. Please see below.

OLAP PivotTable Extension: This is a free Excel 2007, Excel 2010 and Excel 2013 addin which exposes some additional functionality for PivotTables on Analysis Services cubes. This vey useful if your are new to MDX. Rather that building the query from scratch ,you can build a quick PivotTable in Excel, use this addin to copy MDX and then modify it as needed.

Generate Data: This is an online dummy data generator. While it doesn’t compete with commercial tools like redgate’s SQL Data Generator 2.0 or Visual Studio Data Generation Plan, it is a handy tool for smaller number of tables and rows.

SQL Sentry Plan Explorer: This tool makes analysing query execution plan a pleasure. Anybody who has anlysed large execution plan in SSMS, can feel my pain. The tool is very intuitional but this link gives a good demo of features and is a good starting point.

Dax Studio: I haven’t worked with SQL Server 2012 Tabular model extensively but I have tried to write simple DAX calculations. I have always found them to be a little bit difficult to grasp. This excel addin seems to be a good help to simplify things.

AS Performance Workbench: If you are looking for a quick and easy way to load test SSAS cubes then look no further. This utility is perfect for that. Also check out brief note about how I used it in a project.

SSMS Boost add in: This is an SSMS add in which has features similar to SSMS tools pack mentioned above plus a few more. I have not used it extensively but it looks very promising and is free.

Open DBDiff : OK, this is not the only database comparison tool; neither it is the best. But it does the job pretty well at no cost at all.

SSAS Compare: This is very interesting. It will compare two SSAS databases, XMLA or SSAS projects with each other. It is quite handy when you are not sure what’s in production is in your source control. Pickle!! 🙂

NBi: NBi is Unit testing framework for BI projects based in the more popular NUnit framework. It is something I came across recently and haven’t tried but the project’s features look very promising.



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