Monday, July 16, 2018

A quick 'save me from myself' thing in SSMS

Have you ever felt that 'down-elevator' feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize you just executed a script against the wrong instance? I have.

It's of course possible to add name checks and all to only allow execution on a given instance, I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that most people don't do that in most cases.

Happily, there's a quick and easy setting you can take advantage of to give yourself a visual indication that hey, maybe you're not where you thought you were: the 'Use custom color:' setting in the Connection Properties of the Connect to Server dialog box.

To get there, first click Options:



Check the box for 'Use custom color:', and hit 'Select...':




Pick your color, click 'OK' (I tend to use red for production, orange for QA/test, green for development, but go with whatever works best for you), and then click 'Connect':




From here on out, the status bar down at the bottom of the query window will be whatever color you've picked for that instance:




While various third-party tools offer similar functionality (often with a lot more flexibility and configurability), this is built-in to SSMS and has been around for quite a while. It's a great quick gut-check!

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