SQL Server 2017 Management Tools

A number of database management tools have been built with support for SQL Server. Some of them are by Microsoft, others are third party tools. These tools can help you with your database administration and programming tasks.

SQL Server management tools enable you to administer SQL Server. They allow you to do things like create databases, run queries, manage users, run backups and restores, import/export data, and much more.

The SQL Server 2017 installation doesn't install any database management tools. These need to be installed separately. This hasn't always been the case. Prior to SQL Server 2016, management tools were included as one of the optional components of a SQL Server installation. Since SQL Server 2016, they need to be installed separately.

This means you have a choice of which management tools you'd like to use with SQL Server. Some tools are developed by Microsoft, other tools are by third parties.

But don't get confused by the number of options listed on this page. They all pretty much enable you to do the same thing — manage and administer SQL Server.

I've separated these tools into graphical user interface (GUI) tools and command line interface (CLI) tools.

GUI Tools

Here are some graphical tools that can be used to manage SQL Server.

Command Line Tools

Below is a quick overview of some of the command line tools that you can use to manage SQL Server.

There are many other SQL Server management tools that aren't listed above. Some are free, some are for purchase. There are also a lot of utilities for performing specific tasks, such as diagnostics, maintenance, bulk copying of data, etc. The Microsoft website contains a list of command prompt utilites that ship with SQL Server.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we'll just use SQL Operations Studio (now Azure Data Studio).