Three SQL Server Management Tips

It’s funny how you can go so long without hearing a particular word, looking up a phrase, or asking someone how to do something, and then back to back, things all come up at once. This happened to me with SQL Server Management Studio. Three times over the last couple days, I was able to share a tip with someone to assist them in their day to day.

Removing a Server Name Connection String

Over time, it’s bound to happen, you have to update a connection string so that the database can continue to evolve. This can cause your Server name list to get bigger and full of useless disconnected servers. Here’s how to remove old names:

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio > Click File > Connect Object Explorer…
  2. On the Connect to Server pop up > Click the Server name: drop down.
  3. Hover over the connection string that you want to remove and press DEL on your keyboard.
  4. Repeat for any desired names listed.

Color-coding Your Database Servers

This is an easy-to-find option to add to your connection server, yet most don’t know it exists. I find it useful to color-code my environment-specific databases so I know immediately where I am when querying.

SQL color

To do this:

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio > Click File > Connect Object Explorer…
  2. On the Connect to Server pop up > Click the Server name: drop down and select the desired Server that you want to color.
  3. Click Options >>.
  4. Check the box near the bottom for Use custom color:
  5. Select your color and click Connect.

Multi-Line Highlighting

This nifty tip comes in handy for two reasons. Any time you want to add to or edit a bunch of lines at once, or, if you’re like me and need everything to look the same by updating all “Select” to “SELECT”. This also works in most coding tools like Visual Studio, Notepad++, and others.

MultiLine  >>  Selects

To do this:

  1. Hold down ALT.
  2. Click and hold where you want to begin dragging.
  3. Drag vertically and left or right.
  4. Type some characters and notice they type the same in every line.

You can also copy/paste vertically as well, which has proven very efficient if you need to copy code from one place to another.

The QA Benefit

So how does this relate to a tester other than being slightly particular about how our queries look? Learning these types of tips allows us to be more efficient getting more done in shorter amounts of time. It also assists when we see our developers manually typing the same thing over and over again in eight lines of code (actually happened). Lastly, if you’re a QA Engineer, this can be especially helpful if you need to change a bunch of lines of ASSERT statements at the same time.

There is no shortage of tips for different products, from hot keys to UI button placement. Perhaps there is a way to consider adding some tips into your daily testing to make you more efficient.


*One more for those who care. I always use CTRL+C > CTRL+V when your cursor is at the end of a line of code and you want to copy the entire line. It saves you time of having to highlight the entire row first. CTRL+D also works in Notepad++.

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