Shop Talk: 2020-11-02

The Recording

The Panelists

  • Kevin Feasel
  • Mala Mahadevan
  • Tom Norman

Notes: Questions and Topics


We had one announcement: TriPASS board elections are coming up in mid-November. We have three positions up for election this year: President, VP of Marketing, and Treasurer. All TriPASS members in good standing of eligible to run, and the election will run from November 19th through December 3rd, for terms beginning February 23, 2021 through February 26, 2023. If you’re interested, e-mail (shoptalk at tripass dot org will work) and I can provide more details as needed.


PASS Summit is coming up, from November 10th through the 13th. Registration is still open and you can use the discount code LGDISCWY7 to save some cash. Tom also gave the full-court press on why you should sign up for PASS Virtual Summit this year.

Data Platform Summit is also coming up, from November 30th through December 8th. Registration is open and you can use the discount code TRIANGLESQL for a nice discount.

SSMS and ADS Joined Together

Our big topic for the evening was the about SQL Server Management Studio 18.7, which now forces installation of Azure Data Studio.

Tom, Mala, and I all share fairly similar opinions, so I’ll lay out mine just a little bit. I don’t hate the idea, but I do see two problems with it. First, this is a required installation. Microsoft’s saying that you can uninstall ADS afterward if you choose, but I’d much rather there be an option to install or not rather than having to uninstall later. I use Azure Data Studio pretty regularly and I still don’t like the notion of forcing an installation when you wanted SQL Server Management Studio.

Second, I’m a bit curious about release cadence and bloat. SSMS releases less frequently than ADS, so if I subsequently install 18.7.2, will it try to install an old version of Azure Data Studio over my current version? I don’t know the answer for that and figure we’ll have to wait and see. But we do see from Glenn Berry that ADS is installed as a system installation rather than a user installation, so you might have two copies as a result. You might have a third copy if you’ve used the Insiders track. There’s nothing SSMS-specific about this as you can install multiple copies all on your own, but I’m sure it’ll ruffle a few feathers.

Mala did bring up a good point that I’d like to mention here as well: SQL Server Management Studio is already a collection of installed applications—it brings along with it Profiler, Replication Monitor, Database Tuning Advisor (ugh), the Analysis Services deployment tool, and more. These are all separate applications

But that’s not to say I’m dismissive of the people who don’t want to install ADS, as well as the people who want to make ADS an optional installation rather than mandatory. I understand concerns about corporate compliance, potential security risks involved (you are, after all, installing Python and a very extensible IDE), etc. And given that you don’t need ADS to use SSMS, I’d rather they not require installation. Make it an option and I think a lot of the concern within the community simmers down.

This topic also led us down a rabbit hole of installing SSMS on servers. In real life, I’m not too hard-pressed on the idea because it’s nice to have the tools there in case you need direct server access. But I wanted to push the other side of the argument as hard as I could, and I think SSMS 18.7 makes that “Don’t install SSMS on servers ever” argument a bit easier because it increases the scope of what you need to worry about on a server. Or we just keep copies of 18.6 around for a few years…

TriPASS Plans in November

We will not have Shop Talk next week (November 9th), as this is the start of pre-cons for PASS Summit. We also will not have an Advanced DBA group meeting that week, so expect no TriPASS-specific content unless I decide to do something ad hoc.

We will have Shop Talk on the 16th and Tracy will talk about dbatools & dbachecks; register for that now to get a reminder or just show up when we go live on Twitch.

We will probably not have Shop Talk on November 23rd, as it is the Monday of Thanksgiving. We also are done with regular data science meetings for the year, so no regular meeting that week.

Finally, we will have Shop Talk on November 30th.

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