SQL tools overview

APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server yesAzure SQL Database yesAzure Synapse Analytics (SQL DW) yesParallel Data Warehouse

To manage your database, you need a tool. Whether your databases run in the cloud, on Windows, on macOS, or on Linux, your tool doesn't need to run on the same platform as the database.

You can view the links to the different SQL tools in the following tables.

Note

To download SQL Server, see Install SQL Server.

The following tools provide a graphical user interface (GUI).

Tool Description Operating system
ADS image
Azure Data Studio
A light-weight editor that can run on-demand SQL queries, view and save results as text, JSON, or Excel. Edit data, organize your favorite database connections, and browse database objects in a familiar object browsing experience. Windows
macOS
Linux
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SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)
Manage a SQL Server instance or database with full GUI support. Access, configure, manage, administer, and develop all components of SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, and SQL Data Warehouse. Provides a single comprehensive utility that combines a broad group of graphical tools with a number of rich script editors to provide access to SQl for developers and database administrators of all skill levels. Windows
SSDT image
SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)
A modern development tool for building SQL Server relational databases, Azure SQL databases, Analysis Services (AS) data models, Integration Services (IS) packages, and Reporting Services (RS) reports. With SSDT, you can design and deploy any SQL Server content type with the same ease as you would develop an application in Visual Studio. Windows
VS Code image
Visual Studio Code
The mssql extension for Visual Studio Code is the official SQL Server extension that supports connections to SQL Server and rich editing experience for T-SQL in Visual Studio Code. Write T-SQL scripts in a light-weight editor. Windows
macOS
Linux

Command-line tools

The tools below are the main command-line tools.

Tool Description Operating system
mssql-cli mssql-cli is an interactive command-line tool for querying SQL Server. Also, query SQL Server with a command-line tool that features IntelliSense, syntax high-lighting, and more. Windows
macOS
Linux
sqlpackage sqlpackage is a command-line utility that automates several database development tasks. macOS and Linux versions of sqlpackage are currently in preview. Windows
macOS
Linux
SQL Server PowerShell SQL Server PowerShell provides cmdlets for working with SQL Windows
macOS
Linux
sqlcmd sqlcmd utility lets you enter Transact-SQL statements, system procedures, and script files at the command prompt. Windows
macOS
Linux
bcp The bulk copy program utility (bcp) bulk copies data between an instance of Microsoft SQL Server and a data file in a user-specified format. Windows
macOS
Linux
mssql-scripter mssql-scripter is a multi-platform command-line experience for scripting SQL Server databases Windows
macOS
Linux
mssql-conf mssql-conf configures SQL Server running on Linux. Linux

Migration and other tools

These tools are used to migrate, configure, and provide other features for SQL databases.

Tool Description
Configuration Manager Use SQL Server Configuration Manager to configure SQL Server services and configure network connectivity. Configuration Manager runs on Windows
SQL Server Migration Assistant Use SQL Server Migration Assistant to automate database migration to SQL Server from Microsoft Access, DB2, MySQL, Oracle, and Sybase.
Database Experimentation Assistant Use Database Experimentation Assistant to evaluate a targeted version of SQL for a given workload.
Distributed Replay Use the Distributed Replay feature to help you assess the impact of future SQL Server upgrades. Also use Distributed Replay to help assess the impact of hardware and operating system upgrades, and SQL Server tuning.
ssbdiagnose The ssbdiagnose utility reports issues in Service Broker conversations or the configuration of Service Broker services.

If you're looking for additional tools that aren't mentioned on this page, see SQL Command Prompt Utilities.