SQL SERVER – Difference Between Azure Data Studio and SQL Server Management Studio

Earlier I blogged about SQL SERVER – Getting Started with Azure Data Studio. After reading the blog post, I receive an email from a reader asking about the primary difference between Azure Data Studio (ADS) and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Well, before we start the conversation let us see the following image.

SQL SERVER - Difference Between Azure Data Studio and SQL Server Management Studio adsssms

You can clearly see that in Azure Data Studio we have three components of SQL Server 1) Databases, 2) Security and 3) Server Objects. Whereas if you look at the SQL Server Management Studio, there are quite a lots of components 1) Databases, 2) Security 3) Server Objects, 4) Replication, 5) PolyBase, 6) Always On High Availability, 7) Management, 8) Integration services Catalogs, 9) SQL Server Agent and 10) XEvent Profiler.


Well, there you go, if you are the hardcore developer who is just writing the queries, executing them and more visual result sets person, Azure Data Studio is for you. However, if you are hardcore DBA who is primarily focused on the advanced administrative configurations, manage high availability, run SQL Agent jobs and query store consumer – SQL Server Management Studio is the right tool for you.

I have been using ADS and SSMS for a while and at this point in time, I can tell you both of them are here to stay. If you are an SSMS fan, there is no need to worry about the product going away immediately as I do not think ADS is anyway replacement of SSMS. Similarly, there is no reason to ignore ADS as well as it also has some cool feature, I really wish SSMS always provided.

Here are the top 5 features from my experience in using both the products. Remember, these are not the feature promoted by Microsoft or anyone but the list is built from my own experience.

5 Top Features of Azure Data Studio

  • Extensions
  • Source Code Control
  • Task Pane
  • Dashboard
  • Dark Mode (I love this)

5 Top Features of SQL Server Management Studio

  • Live Query Stats
  • Spatial Viewer
  • Query Store
  • XEvent Management
  • Always On

Well, now that you have read my top 5 features, I would love to know what is your opinion and what are your top 5 features. Please leave a comment as everyone would love to learn from it.

Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)

Azure Data Studio, SQL Server Management Studio, SSMS
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8 Comments. Leave new

  • Live Query Stats
    Spatial Viewer
    Query Store
    XEvent Management
    Always On

  • nakulvachhrajani
    April 15, 2019 6:37 pm

    I absolutely crave the “dark mode” (wish SSMS would have it – Visual Studio does, and SSMS is just a shell!).
    But other than that, it’s like learning to walk all over again, esp for a keyboard person like me.

  • Nice Post Sir.

  • Adrian Hernandez
    April 19, 2019 9:54 pm

    I have Dark Mode in SSMS. Azure Studio loads faster and seems to crash or stall less than SSMS. Would use more Azure Data Studio, but, can’t see a way of working with SQL Agent, SSIS jobs, etc.

    I hope that eventually Azure Data Studio can incorporate the functionality that currently SSMS has. Not fun when you have to use a bunch of tools for different things.

    • you are in luck, SQL Server Agent i added to the market place and can now be downloaded as a plugin, the visuals on it are great really love it

  • What is the dark mode?

  • Pedro Morales
    June 7, 2019 11:30 pm

    You might want to do a video on this.

  • Thanks a lot Pinal Please can you make another blog with example of each feature, it will complete my understanding.


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