Tuesday, June 7, 2011

dbForge SQL Complete Review....

Introduction
This is a review of a great utility that I evaluated as a possible solution for replacing the Intellisense in SQL server management studio named dbForge SQL Complete which could be found at http://www.devart.com/dbforge/sql/sqlcomplete/.
I was surfing the SQL Server newsgroups for help with some T-SQL issues and I saw a post with a link to that utility. I went to their website and downloaded a free evaluation for 30 days.
I could not believe how simple it was to use and how thoroughly it solved my code writing problems. I am still a fan and hooked and it's one of the tools that I need to install on each machine that I’m working on, wherever I go!
The Environment
The evaluation was done on various operating systems and various SQL server versions, windows vista 32 BIT with SQL server 2008, windows 7 enterprise 64Bit with SQL server 2008R2 and windows 7 enterprise 64Bit with SQL server 2005.
Download
The best thing ever that companies could offer a free trial of their product for testing and it's for 30 days, which divert did, totally free download without even giving your e-mail address and the other bogus stuff, the makes it easier to evaluate and work around with the tool.
They also offer free support even during your evaluation period, but I didn't get the chance to use it or call them as the product works smoothly on 32BIT and 64BIT, windows Vista and seven enterprises.
The dbForge SQL Complete has two editions - Express and Standard.
Express is a free SQL Server Management Studio add-in that provides basic functionality to complete and format SQL code.
Standard is a fully-featured tool that provides powerful SQL Intellisense and formatting of T-SQL code.
Version
The latest version as we speak is 2.50.92 (30-May-2011). For a list of changes see the revision history.
Installation
Ready to work out of the box, quickly installed in a Next-Next-Finish manner, it just requires Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 2005 or 2008 installed
Cost
Ok, so that is what it costs, but what is its value? What will it bring to your business that you do not already have? Consider this:
·         A tool for creating faster code completes as you write.
·         The ability to when you type names of user-defined and built-in functions and procedures, dbForge SQL Complete will display their parameter information in a hint.
·         A utility to produce clear and well-formatted code without worrying about all those indents, whitespaces, etc. Just keep typing your SQL and see it automatically transformed based on your preferences and formatting rules.
My Thoughts
Who don't have access to 4 or 5 machines which he develops, test and work on all the time, speaking about me, I'm using 2 machines at work and 1 laptop and 1 PC at home on my spare time, most of the time you need more Intellisense from SSMS Intellisense.
Honestly I’ve been to other tools but more expensive and really gives me the same functionality of this one.
To be fair, some of this functionality already exists in other tools you're using, such as SSMS. But Consider this:
·         Speed! It's fast. The code behind this tool was recently rewritten for the latest version and it is as fast as lightning.
·         Ease of use! Fluid motion, completing as you expect, as you type.
·         Customization! With a wide selection of formatting options you can set any formatting style you need.
Yes, it is a great tool, but is it right for you? It may or may not be, depending on your development environment. Consider these scenarios:
·         If you're not a developer or a code writer! Then you do not need it.
·         If you don't use SQL server at all! Then you do not need it.
·         If your databases and codes remain relatively static, then you do not need it.
·         If your IT department don't have a budget to spend $50!
·         If your development team codes furiously in a RAD environment then, as far as I'm concerned, you can't live without it.
Final Thoughts
Positively I’m with this utility. It’s a great product and cheap and everybody needs it! You’ll know what I’m talking about after you try it!

From Their Website

  • Context-based code completion


    SQL Complete thoroughly defines the context to predict what you want to type next. It displays only relative keywords and names of database objects. Just type several symbols and see the required word in the suggestion list. It takes only to press Enter and go on with your query.


  • Parameter info for functions


    When you are typing names of user-defined and built-in functions and procedures, SQL Complete displays their parameter information in a hint.


  • Customizable SQL formatting


    Produce clear and well-formatted code without worrying about all those indents, whitespaces, wrappings, line breaks, etc. Just keep typing your SQL and see it automatically transformed based on your preferences and formatting rules.
    With a wide selection of formatting options you can set any formatting style you need.


  • Quick object info


    To get essential information on a database object you don't have to look it up any more - just hover the mouse cursor over the identifier, and it's here. For tables, the popup window with information will contain:

    - column names with data types
    - additional column properties (e.g., not null and identity attributes)
    - primary, unique and foreign keys
    - user information from the extended properties.
    For other objects it shows object type and user description if any.


  • Smart filtering to suggest relative keywords and objects


    SQL Complete filters the suggestion list based on various criteria:

    - first typed symbols,
    - a whitespace,
    - camel case,
    - a square bracket.
    You can be sure, whatever you type, the suggestions will be just what you wanted.


  • Context-based sorting of suggestions in the list


    SQL Complete saves you even a second by sorting names of database objects by type, and displaying most relevant suggestions in the top of the list; others are moved to the bottom.


  • Determining a current database or schema


    SQL Complete displays a list of database objects from the current database or schema even if their names are not specified in a query. The names of the current database or schema are determined based on connection properties of the current SQL document. Besides, SQL Complete finds USE statements in the code and changes the current database for subsequent SQL statements.


  • Expanding a list of columns


    You can replace the * asterisk symbol with the list of columns from the required table or view on pressing the Tab key.


  • Expanding INSERT statements


    You can expand INSERT statements to the full template on pressing the Tab key.
    Except the template, the type of column data will be generated in the comments along with the NOT NULL and ROWGUID properties. For datetime, a template for inserting time will be created. Also DEFAULT clause is generated if a default value is created for a table.


  • Suggesting conditions for JOIN statements


    Get the fastest way of typing JOIN statements. SQL Complete can suggest a full statement based on foreign keys, or it can prompt conditions based on column names.


  • Automatic alias generation


    SQL Complete automatically generates an alias for each table object (table, view, stored procedure, function, synonym) in the FROM list of your SQL document.


  • Suggestions of T-SQL statements in procedures and functions



  • SQL Complete supports:DECLARE statements for local variables, cursor variables, and table definitions;

    cursors (declared with the help of DECLARE CURSOR statements) in OPEN, CLOSE, DEALLOCATE statements;

    context for such control-of-flow as BEGIN...END, GOTO, IF...ELSE, RETURN, BREAK, CONTINUE, WHILE, WAITFOR, TRY...CATCH, CASE, RAISERROR.




  • Semi-transparent view of the suggestion box


    When your code is overlapped by the suggestion box, do not close the suggestion box. Hold Ctrl to make the suggestion box switch to semi-transparent view.




  • Disclaimer: I am not employed by them. I am just a happy customer who use one or more features offered by this utility to make my life easier. It is quite possible that there are other competitive products in the market that offer similar features, so please do your own research and download the trial version first.