Free SQL Server tools from Microsoft

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There is often the need to do something with SQL Server that does not necessarily come shipped with the product. Thanks to Microsoft there are plenty of additional free tools that can be used to enhance your SQL Server environment.


Microsoft has plenty of additional tools that you can take advantage of that interact or support SQL Server.  Below is a list of some tools that could come in handy and enhance the toolset you already have available.  Some of these tools are specific to SQL Server 2000 or SQL Server 2005, so read the documentation that is available with the download. 

The list below is just a sample of what can be found for SQL Server on the Microsoft download site.  So take a look at these options and also search to see if there are tools that you can benefit from.

Tool Description
Read80Trace Read80Trace is a command line utility for processing trace files generated by SQL Server 2000. As output, it generates RML files and/or a database populated with normalized data that can be useful for analyzing the performance of the system. Read80Trace requires that the destination database also run SQL Server 2000 or later.
OSTRESS OSTRESS is a multithreaded ODBC-based query tool. It reads its input from a command line parameter, RML file(s) produced by read80trace, or standard go-delimited .SQL scripts. In stress mode one thread is created for each connection and all threads run as fast as possible with no synchronization among the threads. This mode is quite useful for generating a specific type of stress load on the server. The replay mode provides a means to synchronize events by ensuring that they play back in the correct sequence that they originally happened, with the same relative duration between events, or both. Three key features provided by OSTRESS replay that are not in the Profiler replay tool are the ability to replay RPC events as remote procedure calls, replay attentions, and replay DTC transactions. It is also command line based so that it can be run as part of an automated process or test script.
PSSDiag PSSDiag is a diagnostic data collector for Microsoft SQL Server. It can simultaneously collect Perfmon/Sysmon logs, Profiler traces, event logs, SQLDIAG reports, and detailed blocking information. It is commonly used by Microsoft Product Support Services engineers to collect diagnostic data from end-user installations and can also be used by end-users to troubleshoot and monitor their own SQL Server installations.
SQLIO SQLIO is a tool provided by Microsoft which can also be used to determine the I/O capacity of a given configuration.
SQLH2 The Microsoft SQL Server Health and History Tool (SQLH2) allows you to collect information from instances of SQL Server, store this information, and run reports against the data in order to determine how SQL Server is being used.
SQLH2 Performance Collector The SQLH2 Performance Collector is a stand-alone service of Microsoft Windows that collects and stores performance counter data from selected servers. You should install this optional component if you are interested in collecting performance counters along with system information. The SQLH2 Collector gathers the data that this service collects and stores this data in the repository when you run the SQLH2 Collector.
SQLH2 Reports SQL Server Health and History Tool (SQLH2) Reports
SQL 2000 Sample Databases Northwind and pubs Sample Databases for SQL Server 2000
SQL 2000 JDBC Driver The Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Driver for JDBC is a Type 4 JDBC driver that provides highly scalable and reliable connectivity for the enterprise Java environment. This driver provides JDBC access to SQL Server 2000 through any Java-enabled applet, application, or application server.
SQL Server 2000 Best Practices Analyzer Microsoft SQL Server Best Practices Analyzer is a database management tool that lets you verify the implementation of common Best Practices. These best practices typically relate to the usage and administration aspects of SQL Server databases and ensure that your SQL Servers are managed and operated well.
SQL 2000 Critical Update:
SQL Critical Update scans the computer on which it is running for instances of SQL Server 2000 and MSDE 2000 that are vulnerable to the Slammer worm, and updates the affected files.
SQL 2000 Scan
SQL Scan scans an individual computer, a Windows domain, or a range of IP addresses for instances of SQL Server 2000 and MSDE 2000, and identifies instances that may be vulnerable to the Slammer worm.
SQL 2000 Check
SQL Check scans the computer on which it is running for instances of SQL Server 2000 and MSDE 2000 that are vulnerable to the Slammer worm. SQL Check also identifies vulnerable SQL Server 2000 clusters, but does not disable them.
SQL 2000 Management Pack The Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Management Pack provides both proactive and reactive monitoring of SQL Server 2000 in an enterprise environment. Availability and configuration monitoring, performance data collection, and default thresholds are built for enterprise-level monitoring. Both local and remote connectivity checks help ensure database availability.
SQL 2005 JDBC Driver The Microsoft SQL Server 2005 JDBC Driver is a Type 4 JDBC driver that provides database connectivity through the standard JDBC application program interfaces (APIs) available in J2EE (Java2 Enterprise Edition).
SQL 2005 Express Edition Samples SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Documentation and Samples
SQL 2005 Sample Databases SQL Server 2005 Samples and Sample Databases
SQL 2005 Upgrade Advisor Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Upgrade Advisor analyzes instances of SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000 in preparation for upgrading to SQL Server 2005. Upgrade Advisor identifies feature and configuration changes that might affect your upgrade, and it provides links to documentation that describes each identified issue and how to resolve it.
SQL 2005 Mobile SDK Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition (SQL Server Mobile) is the compact database for rapidly developing applications in both native mode and the .NET Compact Framework that extend enterprise data management capabilities to mobile devices.
SQL 2005 Everywhere
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Everywhere Edition CTP is the compact database for rapidly developing applications in both native and the managed environment that extend enterprise data management capabilities to desktop applications
SQL 2005 Express Utility SQL Server 2005 Express Utility allows you to perform various admin functions
SQL 2005 Report Packs SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services Report Packs are add in reports for Reporting Services


Next Steps
  • Review the list to see what you might be able to use
  • Download the appropriate tool
  • Review the Microsoft download site to see what other downloads are available for SQL Server

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About the author
MSSQLTips author Greg Robidoux Greg Robidoux is the President and founder of Edgewood Solutions, a technology services company delivering services and solutions for Microsoft SQL Server. He is also one of the co-founders of Greg has been working with SQL Server since 1999, has authored numerous database-related articles, and delivered several presentations related to SQL Server. Before SQL Server, he worked on many data platforms such as DB2, Oracle, Sybase, and Informix.

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

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