What's on your SQL Server wish list?

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I have personally seen the SQL Server platform serve as the basis for solving countless business, technology and user challenges by talented professionals.  Sometimes the solutions are masterpieces and other times you could say the workarounds are not pretty. To me, Microsoft delivers a relatively simple platform with SQL Server to resolve a wide variety of challenges around the globe.  However, I still see technology and business professionals wanting more from the product.  What's on your SQL Server wish list?


Here is your opportunity to take a few minutes and think about what is missing from SQL Server and share your thoughts with the greater community.  As a SQL Server DBA consultant by profession, you might be surprised by a few of my thoughts, but we want to hear from you.  Take a look a my thoughts and share yours in the comments section of this tip.

Simplicity for SQL Server

Both personally and professionally, I really like to keep things simple, straightforward and avoid any sort of complexity or drama.  With some aspects of SQL Server there may be too many options.  I have seen a number of customers struggle with solving a problem because they are not sure which option to select.  They also do not have the time to test every option.  As long as the code works and performs relatively well, they move on because their task list grows by the minute.  Unfortunately, this can result in performance problems in the future.  One classic example is the use of IN, EXISTS, JOIN, INTERSECT, EXCEPT, etc. commands.  I generally try to use simple JOINs, but that is not always possible based on the database design

I have also seen some confusion recently with the SQL Server tool set.  Who should use SQL Server Management Studio?  Who should use the SQL Server Data Tools?  Should we use components from a third party in SQL Server Management Studio?  Should we just use a third party tool to replace the native tools all together? 

Having options is generally good, but do you feel like too many options sometimes causes confusion?

Lightweight SQL Server Command Line Tool

Speaking of tools, I can remember the days of Query Analyzer and really loved the tool.  It was simple, lightweight and did everything I needed.  I like SQL Server Management Studio and use it every day.  I can also understand why Microsoft is trying to have a single toolset based on Visual Studio, but I miss that simple lightweight tool to handle my core SQL Server DBA responsibilities.

I know many DBAs and Developers are looking for more bells and whistles with the tools, but I am more interested in a simple tool.  What are you looking for with the SQL Server tool set?

SQL Server Functions

Another area I have seen and experienced some issues with SQL Server are related to mathematical and reporting functions (User Defined | System).  Some other database\reporting vendors have financial, mortgage, statistical, etc. functions included with their product.  Are there functions you wish were included with SQL Server?  Would they potentially benefit the entire community, your industry or your business?

End to End SQL Server Integrated Business Intelligence Platform

With the recent tips on PowerPivot, DAX, etc. I am eager to see how business intelligence and reporting changes for all data professionals.  Unfortunately, I still see confusion on the BI side of the SQL Server platform.  The integration with Excel has always made a great deal of sense to me and my hope is that business intelligence and reporting is simplified by leaps and bounds with the future SQL Server platforms.  How do you think the SQL Server platform can improve business intelligence even more?

Simple SQL Server Licensing

Virtualization, multiple cores, multiple instances, clustering, AlwaysOn, and more have all been beneficial for a variety of infrastructure needs.  Unfortunately, I am hesitant when answering any licensing questions for customers because of upgrade paths, enterprise agreements, etc.  I also have customers get confused with all of the terminology and licensing implications.  I guess we are coming full circle back to "simplicity".  Are you struggling with SQL Server licensing?  How have you simplified SQL Server licensing at your company?

Next Steps
  • What's next for SQL Server?  Do you think it is:
    • More cloud offerings? 
    • Improved performance and manageability for BIG DATA implementations?
    • Screaming fast in-memory OLTP database?
    • Working with more unstructured data?
    • High performance for distributed SQL Server instances?
  • Now here is your opportunity to let the community know what you are thinking.  Post your SQL Server wish list in the comments section below.  We want to hear from you and get your opinion!

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About the author
MSSQLTips author Jeremy Kadlec Jeremy Kadlec is a Co-Founder, Editor and Author at MSSQLTips.com with more than 300 contributions. He is also the CTO @ Edgewood Solutions and a six-time SQL Server MVP. Jeremy brings 20+ years of SQL Server DBA and Developer experience to the community after earning a bachelor's degree from SSU and master's from UMBC.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

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Comments For This Article

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - 1:27:23 PM - Mike Byrd Back To Top (82049)

Another item on my wish list is to allow varying fill factors among a partitioned table.  That way I could set older partitions to fill factor of 100% and active partitions to a smaller number.  Seems like this should almost be mandatory.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 7:45:29 AM - PRITESH Back To Top (32837)

Hi ,


My Wish List :

* List of the ways we can write SubQuery

* Awesome sample real scenario queries.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 9:16:20 AM - Steven howes Back To Top (30499)

The thing I wish for most often is the ability to separate the results tabe from the script so I could put results on one window while looking at the script on a different monitor.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 8:54:40 AM - Felipe Maurer Back To Top (29327)

I would like to see a TRIM function that does the same as LTRIM(RTRIM()). It is such a a given!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 7:38:34 AM - Barry D Back To Top (27167)

There are times when I know the command I need but forgot the syntax.  I'd like SSMS to be able to display a bubble with the syntax similar to what Excel does for a formula.

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 12:19:26 PM - Bob Back To Top (26770)

Microsoft took a VERY intuitive and easy to use tool, DTS, and turned it into a overly complex mess (SSIS).  I think Microsoft has completely lost touch with the real-life user community, who need to be able to do simple tasks such as importing data from a text file into a database table quickly and easily.  With SSIS, they made the very simple routine tasks that probably comprise 80% of ETL work needlessly complicated.  It's ok for SSIS to have more capability than DTS, but the simple tasks need to be easy to implement.  This is the most important improvement I would like to see, ASAP.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 11:49:02 AM - Mark Hions Back To Top (26411)

I would be very pleased if Microsoft removed or relaxed the absurd, senseless, and artificial 64GB RAM limit per instance in all editions except Enterprise.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 12:53:29 PM - Jeremy Kadlec Back To Top (23949)


Great idea!  Thanks for sharing.

Thank you,
Jeremy Kadlec
Community Co-Leader

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 11:56:50 AM - Francis McFaul Back To Top (23947)

Since I'm a Contractor, I'd like to have a way to easily export\import Toolbar Customization and Tools Options in SSMS, and to easily export\import BOL Favorities.

And, Amen to Mike Hayes for mentioning a SQL Formatting tool.

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 4:04:27 PM - Mike Hayes Back To Top (22411)

I'd like to see a SQL Formatter tool similar to Redgate SQL Prompt.  This allows quick and easy reformatting of tSQL queries formatted differently than normal,  or not formatted at all.  


I'd also be interested in an automated GROUP BY clause generation option.  For example,  if I write a query similar to:


t1.F1 AS alias1
,t1.F2 AS alias2
FROM dbo.Table1 t1

then the following would be automatically generated:


Mike Hayes

There might be times when this is not what the author intended, but I would think those would be few and far between.  

Friday, February 22, 2013 - 12:04:12 PM - Jeremy Kadlec Back To Top (22361)


That is a great point!

Thank you,
Jeremy Kadlec
Community Co-Leader

Friday, February 22, 2013 - 11:43:55 AM - Mathew Newton Back To Top (22359)

You don't mention here the growing relienace and use of PowerShell for automating routine tasks etc.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 2:03:54 PM - Jeremy Kadlec Back To Top (21657)


Thank you for the feedback...

Thank you,
Jeremy Kadlec

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 12:23:36 PM - Gene Wirchenko Back To Top (21654)
More loop types: FOR and REPEAT...UNTIL would be useful. Something to avoid cursor read repetition. Currently, one has to prime the read then repeat the read statement in the loop.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 11:29:50 AM - Jeremy Kadlec Back To Top (21652)


Thank you for the feedback.  I too would love some additional functions in the SQL Server engine.

Thank you,
Jeremy Kadlec
Community Co-Leader

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 3:47:23 PM - TimothyAWiseman Back To Top (21626)

I have often thought tht a simple median function in SQL Server would be extremely useful.  There are certainly ways to get that answer out of SQL Server right now, but they are all unnecessarily complicated for something like getting the median.  (Adding mode would also likely be useful, but that has been less significant for me personally.)

Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 7:53:50 AM - Jeremy Kadlec Back To Top (21568)


Thank you for the comments.  Those are good simple suggestions.

Thank you,
Jeremy Kadlec
Community Co-Leader

Friday, January 18, 2013 - 4:40:49 PM - Brady Back To Top (21562)

I would like to seperate my SQL jobs into different folders for organization purposes. Also, I wish SSRS subscriptions were easily recognizable in SQL Agent.

Friday, January 18, 2013 - 1:35:28 PM - Jeremy Kadlec Back To Top (21560)


Great points!  Thank you.

Thank you,
Jeremy Kadlec
Community Co-Leader

Friday, January 18, 2013 - 12:12:18 PM - Gene Wirchenko Back To Top (21558)
Variables that survive across a GO! I would like to be able to have a long script with all of the configuration settings up front instead of interspersed. Passing parameters to scripts would be nice, too.

Friday, January 18, 2013 - 11:19:13 AM - Jeremy Kadlec Back To Top (21556)


That's something and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Thank you,
Jeremy Kadlec
Community Co-Leader

Friday, January 18, 2013 - 10:25:13 AM - Bill Back To Top (21553)

What would be really helpful from a DBA perspective is to have a 'create new login like' command where you could just copy an existing users security settings over to a new user. This needs to include all database and object security.

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