I've been using Vista for a while now but haven't ventured in to the land of the sidebar and gadgets. There are some interesting (read obvious) ones out there like stocks quotes, traffic, music, etc. But I've yet to see one where I've felt I couldn't live without it! One that will make my everyday productivity go up. Given I live in the world of SQL Server Manageability I started thinking what type of gadget would the DBA want, what would make them more productive, what would make them the envy of other DBAs… Sorry, if you came here looking for the answer, I don't have it. Or do I? But I'd love to hear your ideas. Don't get me wrong, there are some obvious ones, like monitoring job history, or running job status (ala the Job Activity Monitor), monitoring logins, etc. How about a SQLCMD window in the sidebar – can gadgets take in input or are they read-only? Or one that lists your favorite T-SQL scripts and you can click them to execute them. Maybe these obvious ones will make you more productive, but what are some other ideas you have. It's been a while since I wrote some code, but maybe if someone comes up with the a really cool idea I'll attempt to throw something together. Who knows, maybe we'll come up with something that will make even me turn on the sidebar.
Take a look at powergadgets, it allows you to create charts, gauges and maps connected to any SQL statement, including auto refresh.
It also allows connections to Web Services and PowerShell but from a DBA perspective if you can write a SQL statement that returns the data you are a couple of clicks away from visualizing it in the sidebar.
I have one that I'd like to partner with you on. It deals with some things from documentation. Check out my website and then send me an e-mail.
Thought you might be interested in our SQL Monitor Sidebar gadget:
Don't be shy about spreading the word ;)