Devart dbForge Studio for SQL Server Review

​I was using Microsoft SSMS. The main reason I switched was because SSMS cannot show column information in Azure databases.

What is most valuable?

Source Control with SVN and Git(Hub)Code beautifier and completion Schema and data synchronization.

How has it helped my organization?

We moved from 3 month releases to 1 month release for updates to the production database, using a combination of improved processes, simplification of paperwork and -last but not least- strict source control on the T-SQL code repository before shipping.

What needs improvement?

I would really like to have this software as cloud based SaaS with seamless integration to GitHub so that I don't have to reinstall everything each time I move to another client. This tool is only for SQL Server, but Devart has similar technologies for MySQL and Oracle. It would be nice to have all of them into a single product, buy once and use it for every project, something like HeidiSQL on steroids.

For how long have I used the solution?

For the last 6 months, switched from SSMS and never looked back.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

The setup is straightforward.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I once had a problem stopping a long running query, not sure whose fault was, mine, the server or something else. I restarted the tool and it worked ok.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not really applicable. But we have a team of 6 developers here and we use the source control successfully.

How are customer service and technical support?

I did not use the service yet.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I was using SSMS, the tool Microsoft offers. The main reason I switched was because SSMS cannot show column information in Azure databases. And a second reason was that the code formatting is way better in Devart than SSMS. See image:

What was our ROI?

It cost about 700 USD (Enterprise version, but there are cheaper options and a free version too). If you calculate the numbers of man-hours you can save with a proper source control policy, it pays itself in about 2 months.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Check the features of the different editions on the vendor site,

for a small shop the Professional should be enough, but for data synchronization and source control you need the Enterprise edition.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have used different tools in the past, HeidiSQL (which is not bad), Toad, SSMS, and Aqua Data Studio. This last one (AquaStudio) is Java based and gave me heap errors since day 1, cannot really use it for professional development.

What other advice do I have?

If you do SQL for a living you need a robust productivity tool. You won't regret using a proper software you can rely on. My customers are moving from on-premise to Azure based databases and I wasn't able to migrate their data to the cloud with another product. Devart has a solid history of data connectors, their oledb drivers are famous around the developer community. When working on tight deadlines every hour count and you cannot afford to format code by hand or write scripts just to check if the data matches between TEST and PROD. So far I found the data compare to be the most reliable and easy to use with SQL Server. The software has a report writing and delivery tool and a Pivot table facility. Did not use them myself, but 'hey' they are free in the box, you never know what your customer will ask you. I have used the data export feature every now and then to send data back and forth with other systems and it has enough formats available. One point: it would be good to have export in JSON to ship data to web services. The T-SQL debugger works much like the SSMS one, and the code completion is very accurate. It actually works, and suggests objects based on the context of the SELECT where you are. I was impressed by the JOIN suggestion, which I never saw before: very clever, it relies on foreign keys and similar column names. A little trick: when the code completion drop-down is visible, press the CTRL key and it becomes transparent so you can see thru'There are a lot of other features we did not use yet, but the ones I personally like are: Git, seamless Azure SQL, data compare and code beautifier.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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