SQLPrompt Revisited

A couple of months ago, I wrote a quick post about SQLPrompt which had been purchased by Red-Gate Software.  I have been using it since then and it really has proven to be a handy tool.  Of course, like any free tool, there are a couple of things I'd like to see changed, and I fully expected taht Red-Gate already had plans for making those changes when they re-release it as a paid tool (called SPLPrompt 3).  I have now had the chance to communicate via email with a couple of representatives from Red-Gate and can tell you a little more about the upcoming release.

Probably the most useful feature of SQLPrompt is when writing JOIN statements, it pops up a list of ON clauses for the tables in your query.  If your table names are aliased, it uses the alias.  If you have Foreign Keys defined between the tables, it recommends those.  There is an option where you can also have it recommend fields that are named the same, whether there is a Foreign Key relationship or not.  This makes writing JOINs pretty darn quick.  Sometimes it would recommend several more options than you were looking for, but hey, better to have too many than not enough in this case.  The free tool also stumbled occasionally in handling joins across databases on the same server.  Among other things, I have been told that they have improved the JOIN support, so I look forward to checking out the new version.

I believe it is safe to post the summary list of improvements that Red-Gate communicated to me, which is:

  • Significantly increased speed and accuracy
  • Keystrokes much closer to Visual Studio
  • Greater ease of use
  • Fewer prompts for authentication
  • New tables recognized as you create them
  • Improved JOIN support

They currently expect the price of SQLPrompt 3 to be $195 per user when it is released in September.  I do not yet have any information on group or site license discounts.

So, you still have a month to check out the free edition and budget for the new release.  Happy coding!

posted @ Thursday, July 27, 2006 8:42 AM

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