24 April 2012

Ever wondered what the Object Explorer Details window is for?

Typically, when I install SQL Server Management Studio and run it for the first time, the first thing I do is to close the Object Explorer Details window. After all, it doesn’t seem to serve a useful purpose, duplicating information that already exists in the Object Explorer.

However, I have discovered that it has one important redeeming capability, the ability to allow multi-selection by holding the ctrl or shift key depressed during the selection.


Why is this useful?

If I want to rename an object, or indeed make any textual modification to a number of stored procedures, I can simply script as drop/create, do a search/replace, and click execute to apply the changes.

The slight problem with this approach is that you have to tackled it by object-type. If I want to to use SQL Prompt’s Format SQL feature to format a range of different objects in my database (stored procedures, views and so on), I can instead use SSMS’s Generate scripts features to script them all to a single query window, apply my formatting changes to all objects, and execute the entire script. I show how to do that in my blog post, How to format a set of SQL scripts using SQL Prompt.

No doubt there are other benefits to multi-selection, or indeed the Object Explorer Details pane. If you know of any, please post a comment on this blog post!

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Working as a product manager at Red Gate, focusing on product strategy.

View all articles by David Atkinson