Part of SQL Server's success story is due to its powerful and versatile tools. Microsoft was one of the first pioneers to introduce graphical tools in its standard database platform. For me, it all started with SQL Server 4.21 while I was employed as a junior database administrator in a small start-up company. Our company built software that was supported on two database system platforms: Sybase System 10 and Microsoft SQL Server 4.21. My job was to create and maintain a number of database scripts to perform daily management tasks, such as create databases, back up and restore databases, create tables, manage indexes, and develop stored procedures. At that time, the Microsoft and Sybase database systems were very similar. For my daily activities, I used the ISQL command line tool to execute my scripts on both database platforms. A year later, Microsoft released SQL Server 6.0 with a number of graphical tools such as ISQL/w and Enterprise Manager. These tools were very exciting to me. I never forget the first time that I launched Enterprise Manager. My jaw dropped! Wow! With one click, I could look up objects on a database server and with a couple more clicks, I could create a backup device. I no longer needed my scripts. Although I was a little worried about my job security, I was amazed by the power of the tool and the potential for additional productivity. Six months later, my productivity with SQL Server had gone up so much that I convinced the upper management to minimize support for Sybase altogether and fully focus on development against SQL Server. Ten years later, working in the Microsoft SQL Server team, I can see that the evolution of the tools continues. With every release of SQL Server, Microsoft builds innovative tools to keep up with the rising demands of managing complex environments.
Today, the SQL Server 2005 tools are smarter and more powerful than ever before. The tenet behind delivering the tools remains the same: The tools take advantage of hardware and software innovations to make ordinary tasks easier and complex tasks possible.