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Azure SQL Database Tools Part 2: Native Azure Tools

In the previous article, we discussed the top ApexSQL tools used in the Azure SQL database. In this one, I will be taking you through the top native Azure tools used for database management. So let’s get into it.

Azure Data Studio

The Azure Data Studio is a rich environment for coding. One can leverage its abundant features to make the process of coding, query processing, and execution time and energy-efficient.

This is because it has features such as:

  • IntelliSense: Reads the list of all objects properties along with internal metadata, thus enabling developers to write TSQL at a much faster rate.

  • Smart Code Snippets: These save time since they provide frequently used code snippets that can be used during development. Thus you don’t have to write the same code again, and it also helps you maintain a standard.

  • Customizable Server and Dashboards: You can leverage numerous widgets and options to customize the complete server and dashboard according to your needs. You can focus on operations and metrics that are most significant to you and monitor them.

  • Connection Management: This allows you to create server groups where the connection between the servers and databases can be preserved by storing the configuration details.

  • Integrated Terminal: As the name suggests, you can integrate the terminal with the data studio. This adds to the user experience since you wouldn’t always have to switch screens to perform a CLI task.

  • Extensibility and Extension Authoring: It’s not necessary for you to use only the native tools. In fact, you can increase the power of your database and scale the operations by offering extensions for various purposes.

Azure Explorer

This is a storage explorer that enables you to work with any storage data present on your physical systems/servers, whether Mac, Windows, or Linux. It helps you perform simple tasks such as managing entities, importing them, working with queries, exporting documents of results, and more.

All this improves your productivity since you can access your objects and data with relative ease, and perform all the necessary functions on them.

Azure SQL Agent

The SQL Agent is also known as the SQL Server Agent. It helps administrators to perform significant tasks such as assigning jobs, automation, database replication, managing user permissions, and monitoring end-to-end operations of the database.

While it is known as the server agent, it doesn't really cater only to the server-side. Instead, the tasks mentioned above help with the overall simplification of the database administration process.

Azure SQL Database DTU Calculator

DTU stands for Database Throughput Units. It represents the quality of performance of various databases in the system. As you could’ve understood, the DTU calculator provides insights into the performance of the database system.

At any point, it is necessary to measure the DTU, especially before any important operations such as the migration of the database. This way, you can know your current usage/performance and the performance required and take actions that bring you closer to the goal.

Azure SQL Load Testing

This enables you to test the performance of your database by applying stress to it. For example, this would showcase the current performance of the database and the performance when it is under heavy load.

This is carried out with the help of Apache JMeter Script. This simulates virtual users that simultaneously access your application. With this, you’ll get both the client-side and server-side metrics, and you’ll understand how best you can improve your application.

What makes these test fault-tolerant are that the system automatically incorporates the best practices to ensure that the tests are run in a secure manner and depict real-world conditions.

Azure SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

The SSMS is similar to the Azure Data Studio, but it is developed only for Windows. However, it also stands out as a much richer environment that helps you create, manage, and monitor SQL infrastructure due to its abundance of features and ability to integrate with numerous SQL tools.

The tool helps you manage reporting and integration services, and also services relevant to analysis. It is also an excellent tool for business intelligence.

Azure Powershell

Azure Powershell enables you to work with various resources, build the database infrastructure of objects and nodes, and even automated tools. However, its main function is to help you manage the Azure resources directly from the command line.

The tool can be installed on a Windows, Mac, and Linux OS and can even be accessed through a browser using the Cloud Shell tool.


Over the years, Azure has used numerous SQL database tools, which it has discontinued as technologies evolved. However, there are numerous other tools available and this article has provided you with some insight into them. In the next article, we’ll be looking at some of the common dbForge tools for the SQL database - stay tuned, and until next time.

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