Teamwork is the key to developing SQL Source Control as well as using it

The long-awaited release of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2016 is approaching, bringing with it a more modern look and feel, more features, and more advantages for users.

At Redgate, we’ve been working closely with Microsoft to make sure the latest version of SQL Source Control supports SSMS 2016 from launch day.

SQL Source Control is an add-in for SSMS and links databases to version control systems, giving users the ability to version control their database schemas and reference data alongside their applications.

Because it works inside SSMS, support for the latest version has been a requirement since the launch of SQL Source Control in 2010. This is where the challenge lies.

On the one hand, SSMS is the user interface that interacts with SQL Server and has traditionally been updated at every major release of SQL Server. Supporting each release is not a small job.

On the other, SQL Source Control is itself an evolving product that has its own release cycle, delivering ongoing improvements and added features to users.

Since 2010, SQL Server has seen two big releases, while SQL Source Control has moved on from version 1 to the newly released version 5. At every release, software developers at Redgate make sure SQL Source Control works with the latest version of SSMS, despite the normal pressures of a weekly release cycle for the team.

And SSMS 2016 is a big step for Microsoft.

SSMS is built on the Visual Studio (VS) shell and has conventionally lagged a version or two behind. In a determined effort to bring homogeneity across its products, Microsoft is updating SSMS 2016 to the latest VS 2015 shell.

With the preview version of SSMS 2016 already released and the full release due soon, Redgate and Microsoft have been collaborating to make sure SQL Source Control fully supports the preview release of the popular IDE, so it’s up to date as soon as it becomes available to users.

Elizabeth Ayer, Redgate Product Manager, explains. “We’ve been working with Microsoft to make sure SQL Source Control fully supports the latest version of SSMS in time for its release. It was invaluable to get such close cooperation from the team at Microsoft and a real benefit to users. They gave our team advance access to the latest SSMS 2016 builds, as well as ongoing advice and help.”

“It’s made a real difference,” Elizabeth adds. “It meant we could test our own changes to SQL Source Control at a much earlier stage, and address the upcoming changes in SSMS at the same time. It’s a great demonstration of how two different development teams at two different companies can communicate and collaborate to deliver better products.”

James Billings, Redgate Test Engineer, agrees. “Being able to raise questions with their team saved us a lot of time. For example, we didn’t need to change our code to deal with a particular behavior because they were able to confirm it was something they would fix in the next private build. The direct involvement of Microsoft in the development process was a huge help.”

The result of the collaboration between Redgate and Microsoft hasn’t been lost on users either. Steve Jones, SQL Server Microsoft MVP and founder of popular community website SQL Server Central said of the recent SQL Source Control release: “I’m thrilled by the recent changes in SQL Source Control. Improved support for version control systems such as Git allows me to manage all my database development tasks from within SSMS, and I really like the changes I’ve seen to migration scripts. This is something to get excited about.”

To learn more about the improved migration scripts in SQL Source Control, read this fascinating piece on Simple-Talk from SQL Source Control Product Manager, Elizabeth Ayer.

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