SQL Search: The indispensable tool just got better

Since 1999, Red Gate Software has produced ingeniously simple and effective tools for over 500,000 technology professionals worldwide. From their HQ in Cambridge UK, they create a number of great tools for MS SQL Server, .NET, and Oracle. The philosophy of Red Gate is to design highly usable, reliable tools that solve the problems of DBAs and developers.

Every year Red Gate selects a number of active and influential community members (such as popular blog writers and community site owners) as well as SQL and .NET MVPs who are experts in their respective fields, to be part of the Friends of Red Gate (FORG) program. I’m proud to announce that I’m part of the 2014 FORG selection. This post is a part of a series of post, in which I try to explain and show you why the tools of Red Gate are so loved by the community.

It gets better
As you might have read in my earlier blog post, I love using Red Gate’s SQL Search. It saves me a lot of time querying system objects, or looking through source files stored on disk, when looking for a specific query or object. Even though it had a few shortcomings, the tool was really good. And now they’ve solved some of those shortcomings in a new release: SQL Search 2.0. In this short post, I want to quickly show you the changes that make it even more useful for me to use SQL Search.

Search on specific databases
In the previous version you could only search on 1 specific database, or on all databases:

In the new version, it’s more flexible. You can search on all databases or a selected few databases:

This means you’ll be more flexible when searching for specific queries and objects. For example, if you have 2 databases that use an object from a third database, you don’t need to search the whole instance, or execute the search twice on different databases. This can save you a lot of time and effort.

Search on specific objects
Searching for specific objects was the same as the database search box. In the old version, you could only search for all object types, or on one specific type:

In the new release, you can search on any combination of objects you can think of, or search on all objects:

Search results extended
In the new search results, you’ll also see that tables and functions are included. Before you couldn’t see the table definition in the search results, only the table name. Now, the results include the columns of the table. As an example, I’ve searched for tables containing “Employee” on the AdventureWorks2012 example database:

You can also use wildcards and boolean expressions in the search in this new version. It does seem to work on some occasions, but I’ve also seen some weird results when testing this new functionality. But as an example, let’s try out a boolean expression:

And looking at the results, it shows only objects that contain “Employee”, and not “Employees”:

Because I work with SQL Search a lot, I’ve also noticed that the performance and stability improved a lot. In the old version, I sometimes notices that the searches took a long time, especially searches with a lot of results on instances with a lot of objects and databases. This performance looks better now. But the fact that you can search on specific objects and databases also helps.

You don’t use it yet? Try it out!
Looking at my daily job, I’m almost certain that I can’t live without SQL Search anymore. It makes it easier to quickly find a reference to an object, or views en stored procedures that depend on specific objects. So if you don’t use it now, just try it out. It’s completely free for download at Red Gate.

If you want to read more about this topic, don’t forget to check out these blog posts:

Julie Koesmarno: SQL Server 2012 SSIS Project Versions
Mickey Stuewe: New and Improved SQL Search By Red Gate
Chris Yates: RedGate SQL Search Has What????


4 Responses to SQL Search: The indispensable tool just got better

  1. Chris Yates says:

    This is another good article sir.

  2. Pingback: New and Improved SQL Search By Red Gate | Mickey's T-SQL Ponderings

  3. Pingback: SQL Server 2012 SSIS Project Versions | Ms SQL Girl

  4. Lori Brewer says:

    Love SQL Search. Use it every day. One thing I’d love to see included –> the ability to exclude commented code from the search results. Quite often we document object names in our comments and then these object names are returned in the SQL Search results. I would love it if I could turn on or off the Comments.
    Nevertheless – love your products. Thanks, Lori

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