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Azure Data Studio vs SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS): Which one to choose?

Azure Data Studio

Azure Data Studio is a free Microsoft desktop tool, initially called SQL Operations Studio, that can be used to manage SQL Server databases and cloud-based Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Data Warehouse systems. The lightweight software is designed to make routine database development, querying and administration work easier than it is with Microsoft's more-functional SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) software. As a result, Azure Data Studio is aimed not only at database administrators, but also at software developers and other non-DBAs who manage databases as part of their jobs.

Use if you:

  • Are mostly editing or executing queries.

  • Need the ability to quickly chart and visualize result sets.

  • Can execute most administrative tasks via the integrated terminal using sqlcmd or PowerShell.

  • Have minimal need for wizard experiences.

  • Do not need to do deep administrative or platform related configuration.

  • Need to run on macOS or Linux.

SQL Server Management Studio

SQL Server Management Studio is a free multipurpose integrated tool to access, develop, administer, and manage SQL Server databases, Azure SQL Databases, and Azure Synapse Analytics. SSMS allows you to manage SQL Server using a graphical interface. SSMS can also be used to access, configure, manage & administer Analysis services, Reporting services, & Integration services.

Use if you:

  • Are doing complex administrative or platform configuration.

  • Are doing security management, including user management, vulnerability assessment, and configuration of security features.

  • Need to make use of performance tuning advisors and dashboards.

  • Use database diagrams and table designers.

  • Need access to Registered Servers.

  • Make use of live query stats or client statistics.

Difference Between Azure Data Studio and SSMS

SSMS Azure Data Studio

SSMS supports Windows

Azure Data Studio supports Windows, Linux and Mac.

It has the feature to create the charts but not as compared to Azure Data Studio

It has the features to create the charts.

In SSMS, we can import or export data from CSV, Oracle, or other formats, but only if you have SQL Server Integration services (SSDT) installed. SSMS calls SQL Server import/export Wizard.

In Azure, you can easily export to Excel, JSON, CSV and XML. To import, you need to install the SQL Server Import extension.

You can use dark mode theme in SSMS but for that you need to modify the ssms.pkgundef file.

In this, you can easily use dark theme mode.

SSMS does not have schema compare option to compare schemas of database objects

Azure data studio have extension to compare schemas. Install SQL Server Schema compare extension to do so.

For spatial data, you can visualize the data with SSMS.

In this, we don's have the option.

In SSMS, you can write T-SQL, XMLA, DMX, MDX, TMSL.

In Azure data studio, you can code for Powershell, Python, R, SQL, XML, XSL, YAML etc.

SSMS does not include notebook.

Azure data studio include the notebook in which you can document and reuse your code and also can share it

The Tech Platform

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