What is SSMS? SQL Server Management Studio

If you’re new to the Microsoft database world you might not be familiar with SSMS otherwise known as SQL Server Management Studio. What is SSMS? It’s an IDE client tool created by Microsoft to connect to SQL Server databases to write and execute SQL queries. The latest SSMS client download can be found here. It’s also possible to connect SSMS to other Microsoft services such as SSAS, SSIS, SSRS, Azure Storage, and Integration Runtime. SSMS can also connect directly to Azure cloud databases using an Azure connection string.

ssms object explorer

The Object Explorer window on the left is used to connect to SQL Server to view databases and their associated objects. The main window being your query editor is located on the right. As long as the user logged in has the appropriate permissions they should see all database objects in the Object Explorer. If for some reason a user isn’t able to see specific objects it’s likely to be a permissions issue. They’ll need to reach out to a database administrator to give them the appropriate access. This happens frequently.

ssms query window

Once a user is able to access the database and objects they can begin to write SQL queries. When the SQL query is ready, a user can select the execute button located on the toolbar above the edit window. F5 will also enable you to execute a query from the keyboard. If preferred, other hotkeys can be configured. Once a query is executed, the results pane will show the table results in the bottom right window.

ssms 3 windows

The results data can be copied, saved or printed.

Final Thoughts

SSMS is a great SQL client tool and we would highly recommend it. When connecting directly to any MS SQL Server database it should be used as your primary editor. As far as SQL client tools are concerned, SSMS is straight-forward and easy to use .

The main windows to be familiar with are the:

  • Object Explorer
  • Query Editor
  • Results Tab

SSMS also has plenty of advanced features. Once you start to become more familiar with the SQL Server landscape don’t be afraid to explore other features.

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