For some of the database administrators and database developers, when they are asked to what database tools to use, perhaps most of them will answer SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) and Profile. However, what about anything else? Few of them know or have ever used other tools. To be honest, SSMS and Profile are useful enough to help us deal with most of the job contents on database, but it’s worth mentioning that not only Microsoft, but also the third party companies and other personal developers provide some useful tools for SQL Server as well.
If you are able to master these tools, there is no doubt that they will reduce much time and energy for the management, optimize, test and erratum of our database. Now you can see ten tools except SSMS and Profile as below:
No.1: SqlMonitor & SSBDiagnose
SqlMonitor is the necessary tool for monitoring Replication and Mirror. SSBDiagnose is a tool that is used to test the tools that SSB configured. You don’t have to download it because it has already taken by SQL Server.
No.2: SQLIO & SQLIOSim
Both of them are Disk IO stress test tools. SQLIO is mainly for testing the disk IO performance in the way of simulating random or sequential, while SQLIOSim is in the way of simulating the behavior of SQL Server. You can download it from: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/231619
You can collect information using SQLdiag.exe that is taken by SQL Server firstly, and then analysis the information using SQLNexus. It provides strong supports for database administrator to check for the malfunction of SQL Server. You can download it from: http://sqlnexus.codeplex.com
NO. 4: RML (Replay Markup Language)
This tool has four main functional units. ReadTrace is used for reading the trace file of Profile and then generating report. Ostress is able to repeat the files that created by ReadTrace and also make pressure test with database. Orca can guarantee the database to play according to the order of the events. Reporter is quite useful that it is able to display the content that after the RadTrace as the report forms. You can download it from: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/944837
NO.5: PAL (Performance Analysis of Logs) Tool
PAL Tool is a kind of tool that reads in a performance monitor counter log and analyzes it using known thresholds. You can download it from: http://pal.codeplex.com
No.6: DBDiff & TablleDiff
The former is used for comparing the difference between two database structures. The latter is for comparing the difference between the data in the table and also to generate the relevant script. You can download it from: http://opendbiff.codeplex.com
SSMSTools are plug-ins of SSMS and it can provide formatting code, trace history and so on. Perhaps you can develop your own plug-in with it as well. You can download it from: http://www.ssmstoolspack.com
NO.8: Tuning Advisor
As the name shows, Tuning Advisor is like an advisor in optimization. It is able to prompt you do some related optimization according the operations of the database. But it is not reliable sometimes. You had better judge it by yourself. You have no need to download it as it is taken by SQL Server.
NO.9: Log Explorer
Log Explorer is a tool to read the database log and it is mainly used for recovering the data that is operated in mistake. But it is only support the version of SQL Server 2005. You can Google search it and find out the download link.
No.10: PD (PowerDesigner)
PD is a database design tool that provided by SysBase company. It is a powerful tool which is necessary when you are doing your database design. You can Google search it and find out the download link.
Conclusion:Ten SQL Server DBA tools to make the Life of DBA easier
As a matter of fact, these ten tools may not the most comprehensive tools so far. But if you have these ten tools in hand, your DBA life is likely to be easier than before. And what we have to mention here is that the premise to use these tools is you can open your SQL Server. However, we all know that a SQL Server is usually password protected. Then once the password is forgotten or lost, it is difficult for you to use these tools. Therefore you need a SQL Password Recovery tool to recover it. (PS: About how to use SQL Password Recovery tool you can read this article in this blog: SQL Password Recovery – How to Recover SQL Server Password Smoothly)
In a word, I hope these ten SQL Server DBA tools can do you a favor when you are using SQL Server, no matter you are professional database administrators or ordinary SQL Server beginners.