Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is an integrated environment to manage a SQL Server infrastructure. It provides a user interface and a group of tools with rich script editors that interact with SQL Server.
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SSMS provides tools to configure, manage and administer instances of Microsoft SQL Server, and it brings together a range of graphical and visual design tools and rich script editors to simplify working with SQL Server. SSMS combined features come from Enterprise Manager, Query Analyzer and Analysis Manager, along with features included in previous releases of SQL Server. It supports most of SQL Server's administrative tasks and maintains a single, integrated environment for SQL Server Database Engine management and authoring.
Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio features include Object Explorer, which can view and manage all objects in a SQL Server instance; Template Explorer, which builds and manages files of text that can be reused to speed up query and script development; Solution Explorer, which builds the projects used to manage administration items, such as queries and scripts. (Microsoft plans to remove Solutions Explorer in versions beyond Microsoft SQL Server 2016). SSMS components customize keyboard shortcuts and viewing property pages; connect to instances of the Database Engine and Analysis Services; visual design tools; and interactively build and debug queries and scripts.
SSMS versions and updates
The first SSMS version was released alongside SQL Server 2005, and it has continued to be a part of management for Microsoft SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012, and SQL Server 2016. It also provides support for Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Data Warehouse. It is also possible to administer Azure SQL Databases and servers using SSMS. On Azure, SSMS can create and manage logins and monitor SQL databases through dynamic management views.
In 2016, Microsoft switched from monthly-branded SSMS releases -- August 2016 release -- to numerically-branded SSMS releases -- 16.3 release. The latest version of SSMS will prompt a user when there is a new version to download.
SSMS supported operating systems
SQL Server Management Studio supports Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 (SP1), Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 R2. As of November 2016, while SSMS runs only on Windows, it can also be used to remotely connect to Linux SQL Server instances. After connecting, a user must run a Transact-SQL query to verify communication with the database.