Thursday, July 24, 2014

Product Recommendation: SQL Prompt by Red Gate Software

By Steve Endow

If you have been using SQL Server Management Studio for several years, you probably know that its Intellisense feature sometimes doesn't work.  I've had it work well on some machines, intermittently on other machines, and on some servers, it just doesn't work at all no matter what I try.  Even when it does work, it is sometimes slow and not always helpful.

While talking to the famous Victoria Yudin, the developer of GP Reports Viewer, she showed me a handy tool that she uses called SQL Prompt, from the well known company Red Gate Software.

Victoria showed me how it provided fast, reliable, and very full featured Intellisense within SQL Management Studio.  Here's an example.

It is very responsive, so as you type each character, it immediately displays and filters its results.  And in addition to showing you the proposed object names for the word you are currently typing, it also displays additional related information--so in the example above, in addition to listing the RM tables, it displays the fields in RM20201 with their data types.

It also supports "snippets", which are shortcuts that are automatically converted into larger SQL statements with a press of the Tab key.  In this example, if I type "ssf" and press Tab, it converts it to "SELECT * FROM" and then displays a list of tables.

This morning, when I was working on the eConnect AP apply script, I just typed "EXEC taRMApply" and it automatically wrote the parameters for the stored procedure.

That "auto code" feature right there saved me several minutes of tedious typing or copying and pasting of the parameters, and the resulting formatting is clean and easy to work with.

After trying it for just a few days, I'm a believer.  But there are two small downsides.  First, it isn't free--the license is currently $369.  While this seems like a very reasonable price for such a powerful and refined tool, I can understand if that is a little expensive for a typical GP consultant or VAR.

The second issue is one that I face with several specialized tools that I use:  Once you get used to using it and relying on it, you will be frustrated if you have to work on a server that doesn't have it, such as on a client's SQL Server.  I use the UltraEdit text editor, and it drives me nuts when I don't have it on a machine and have to clean up several thousand rows of data.

But aside from those two small caveats, it looks like a great utility.

Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP for Dynamics GP and a Dynamics GP Certified IT Professional in Los Angeles.  He is the owner of Precipio Services, which provides Dynamics GP integrations, customizations, and automation solutions.

You can also find him on Google+ and Twitter

2 comments: said...


Awesome write up. And thanks for the shout out! :-)


Amy Roberts said...

Hi Steve, I work for Red Gate and it's great great to see your review, and that you can see great value in Prompt. Version 6.4 is hopefully being released with even more improvements. Thanks again!