3 Time-Savers in SSDT

Mark Wojciechowicz
2014-03-31

In this post, I will cover three features in Sql Server Database Tools that you might not know about, but are real time savers.

1 – Refactor:  Fully-Qualify Names
In SSDT, refactoring allows you to quickly and accurately deal with renaming objects or moving them to new schemas.  There is also another refactor feature called, Fully-Qualify Names, which allows you to quickly add prefixes to your columns in a query.  This makes for much easier reading and cleaner code.  Imagine we have a query with a few joins like this:

Create view dbo.myview
AS
       Select
              FirstName,
              CalendarYear,
              CalendarQuarter,
              DiscountAmount,
              SalesAmount
       from [dbo].[FactInternetSales] s
              join [dbo].[DimDate] d  on s.ShipDateKey = d.DateKey
              join [dbo].[DimCustomer] c on s.CustomerKey = c.CustomerKey

If I right click anywhere in the query and select Refactor> Fully-Qualify Names, it will bring up a dialogue like this:




Apply will make the changes shown in the preview.

2 – Go to definition
Suppose we are editing the view that we just created and we wanted to see more details about the First Name column – what is the maximum length, is there a default, is it included in any indexes?  We can easily do this, by right clicking on the column and selecting “Go to Definition.”

This will pop open the definition of the table in a new tab, bringing the cursor right to the line in question and allowing us to see those details.   

3 – Find All References
Now, suppose we want to find out all the places that use FirstName in our database code.  From the table script, we can click on “Find All References” and it will open a new window called “Find Symbol Results,” which will list a line for each reference in our entire database:


Clicking on a result, opens that script and brings your right to the line where it is referenced. 

I hope these tips can help your workflow become more efficient.

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