In cyber-space, no one can hear you scream. Have you ever connected to a server, thought it was a testing or development system, and only a split second after you pressed “F5” to run that command, realized that it was the production server? Yeah….me neither :).
To make sure that’s never you, when you start SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), stop for a moment on the connection dialog and press “Options”. You’ll see that you can select a color for the connection – I set mine to red for production servers, yellow for testing servers, and green for development servers.
Once inside SSMS, you can also set the default color for all connections – I do this and set them all to red, so that if I forget, at least I’ll have that visual indicator to make sure the change I’m making is on the right server.
You can define a default color for specific servers in the Registered Servers panel also. Then, if you right click on a server in the Registered Servers panel and select New Query, the new query window's status bar will have the color you selected in Registered Servers.
When you are setting up a Registered Server, or if you right click on a Registered Server and select Properties, you will get the Server Registration Properties dialog box. If you click on the Connection Properties tab at the top of the dialog box, you will see an check box for "Use Custom Color" and a "Select..." button.