Upcoming T-SQL Toolbar and Context menu changes

Upcoming T-SQL Toolbar and Context menu changes

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For our upcoming release, we made some changes to our connected SQL editor toolbar based on feedback from the MSDN forums, SQL Pass, and Microsoft Connect. We hope you like the new design.

Our design goals:
  • Streamlined experiences putting the most important things on the toolbar from left to right, then the context menu, then the main menus
  • Attempting to minimize relearning the user experience between SSMS and SSDT
New Toolbar

New Toolbar


  • Added “Parse” button (blue check box)
  • Change icon for “Display Executed Query Plan” and grouped it with Execute/Parse buttons
  • Added “The Results To…” fly out button.
  • Added “Display execution plan"
  • Added The SQLCMD mode button

We also changed the context menus to match, with similar design goals.

New Context Menu:

New Context Menu

  • Grouping Connection and Execution Settings as top-level items separate items.
  • Change icon for “Display Executed Query Plan” and grouped it with Execute/Parse buttons
  • Added The Results To… flyout
  • Added The SQLCMD mode button and Actual Execution options


In the screenshots above, I’ve shown what happens when you edit a connected query. While this illustrates the majority of changes, the other change is that you will also see this in non-build project files. Both project-focused  (refactor, etc.) and script-focused (Parse, plans, etc.) commands are supported in that scenario.

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  • Looks good! I think the execution plan buttons should be placed next to one another however.

  • #Dave one is an execution action (Estimated Execution Plan), which are grouped together like Execute etc, the other is a state toggle (Actual Execution Plan)

  • Will we be able to move these toolbar items around? I agree with Dave, while one is an action and the other is a state toggle, I still expect to see them together.

  • Hi Aaron

    The bar inside the text editor window is not customizable because editor toolbars in Visual Studio are intended to be very contextually sensitive. For example, when you use PowerBuffer to  change schema, the only button available on the toolbar is "Update Database". Another example is that a project file (like a stored procedure) has no execution  toolbar at all because execution doesn't make sense without a connection.

    We're listening though. The customizable button idea is something we'd consider for a future version if we see a trend of requests after release. Of course, we're hoping we got it mostly right the first time. :)

  • Thanks Sam, I'm not sure you'll get a lot of people vocally complaining about this specific issue, but I think you will see some confusion if you look closely (have you done any focus groups where you ask people to generate both types of plans and actively monitor them)? It does strike me as odd that these have been together in every version of Management Studio until now, and they are separated for logical reasons at the cost of losing some familiarity. I do hope this gets reconsidered as I'm sure the separation of action / state is going to be lost on most users anyway.

  • I agree with Aaron why does Microsoft needs to change this now, a lot a people got used to work with them together, It would be good that Microsoft does not break our way to work because we are going to use this tool everyday and the idea is to make our job easier.  Don't take wrong is just a comment.

    Now that I am doing a comment I would like to ask why Management Studio is not capable to ask for a windows user and password to connect to a Database as some third party tools do.  Sometime when I working from home, I am force to use a third party tool because my home pc is not part of the Company Domain so I cannot use my windows user.  This third party tool allows me to do to something like domain\user and my password and I can connect to the Company Server, off course this tools does not includes other  features that Management Studio does .  Why Management Studio cannot do the same? That would be a great tool.

  • I'm really used to being able to highlight a block of SQL and hit F5 to run it.  In the context of an SQL file I really think this should be the default behavior.  I have used Data Dude for about 2 years and I am still not used to this.  I usually have a working copy for editing in SSMS, and when   It is annoying to keep "working copy" of all my scripts seperate for developing in SSMS(I do alot of ETL stuff and the dev process involves executing snippets of selects and sub selects to verify I'm on the right track).  Once I have my edits done, then I drill through the deep file structure of the DB project to find the corresponding file, switch back to SSMS, copy, switch to VS, paste, and save.

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