Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio vs Visual Studio

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio

+ 1
Visual Studio

+ 1
Add tool

Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio vs Visual Studio: What are the differences?

Key differences between Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and Visual Studio

Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and Visual Studio (VS) are both popular software tools used by developers and database administrators. While they have some similarities, there are several key differences between them.

1. Purpose and Functionality: SSMS is primarily designed for managing and administering SQL Server databases. It provides a rich set of tools for writing and executing queries, managing database objects, and analyzing performance. On the other hand, VS is an integrated development environment (IDE) primarily used for creating software applications. It offers extensive features for coding, debugging, and testing various programming languages.

2. Database-centric vs. Application-centric: SSMS is focused on database-related tasks and is specifically tailored for working with SQL Server databases. It provides specialized tools for database design, schema modifications, and data management. VS, on the other hand, is more application-centric and flexible, supporting a wide range of programming languages and frameworks. It allows developers to build complete software solutions, including front-end interfaces, business logic, and database integration.

3. User Interface and Workflow: SSMS has a dedicated user interface optimized for managing databases. It provides a logical and intuitive workflow for performing common database operations. VS, being a more general-purpose IDE, has a more complex and customizable interface, with a broader range of functionalities. It is designed to support different development scenarios and can be tailored to individual preferences and project requirements.

4. Integrated Development Environment Features: While SSMS offers some basic development features like query editing and debugging, these are more limited compared to the comprehensive development capabilities of VS. VS includes advanced features like code refactoring, version control integration, unit testing frameworks, and extensive debugging options. These additional development tools make VS a preferred choice for developers working on complex software projects.

5. Extensibility and Ecosystem: SSMS has a relatively limited ecosystem with a focus on SQL Server. It provides a range of built-in tools and extensions specific to SQL Server, but the overall extension capabilities are somewhat restricted. VS, on the other hand, has a much larger and diverse ecosystem, with a vast collection of extensions, plugins, and integrations available. This makes VS more versatile and adaptable to different development scenarios and technologies.

6. Licensing and Cost: Both SSMS and VS have different licensing models. SSMS is generally available as a free download and is included with the SQL Server installation. Some advanced features may require a paid SQL Server license. VS, on the other hand, has multiple editions with different pricing models. The Community edition of VS is free for individual developers and small teams, but other editions may require a paid license. This difference in licensing can impact the overall cost for users.

In summary, Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio is a specialized tool for managing SQL Server databases, while Visual Studio is a powerful IDE for application development. SSMS has a database-centric focus, a dedicated user interface, and limited development features, while VS offers a more versatile and extensive set of development capabilities with support for various programming languages and frameworks. The choice between the two depends on the specific requirements of the project and the role of the user.

Advice on Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and Visual Studio

I am looking to build an azure database that connects to my power bi application. Initially, I attempted to create an Azure SQL database, then realized I needed to have SQL Server Management Service in order to manage and connect between Azure SQL <=> Power BI, but since I am on a Mac, I had to use the complex installation as a workaround.

If MySQL Workbench can solve this (as the product is available on Mac), I am more than happy to proceed with this approach if it can achieve the same goal of connecting an azure database with my Power BI application

What I am trying to achieve is fairly simple: have an online cloud database that connects to my Power BI application

I am open to any other solutions as well

Thank you

See more
Replies (5)
Oded Arbel
MySQL WorkBenchMySQL WorkBench

As others have noted, MySQL Workbench cannot be used instead of Microsoft SQL Manager to manage Azure SQL (MS-SQL Server, I hate that Microsoft uses generic category names for their products).

If you're considering switching to MySQL (Possibly using Azure MySQL managed database), then please not that unlike MS-SQL Server, you do not need the MySQL Workbench to connect your application to MysQL: just use the correct driver for your stack, and you're all set (if your stack is using the .Net platform, use MySQL Connector/NET from: ).

If you do want to use a graphical interface to maintain your MySQL database, then MySQL Workbench is a great choice, but you are not limited to it - as others have mentioned, there is a plethora of competing graphical database management tools that would work just as well with MySQL - one of the advantages of choosing MySQL for your stack is the huge eco-system that is built around it.

See more
Lawrence Fernandes
Data Engineer at B2W Digital · | 1 upvotes · 200K views

Hello Could you give us a better idea of what Data Base Management System (DBMS) you are using at Azure? MySQL Workbench and Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) are tools developed to exclusively manage MySQL and SQL Server, respectively. If you need to manage multiple DBMS's from a single tool, I sugget you try DBeaver. There are also another alternatives: HeidiSQL, phpMyAdmin, etc. Regarding the DBMS itself, I suggest you stick with SQL Server. In my opinion it's more stable and has more features than MySQL - especially in the Standard and Enterprise editions. Regards, Lawrence

See more
Povilas Brilius
PHP Web Developer at GroundIn Software · | 1 upvotes · 200.4K views

As far as I know, MySQL Workbench doesn't handle Microsoft connections, including Azure, you should try Microsoft solutions such as MS VS Code.

See more
Erica Rowe
Tech Lead at eComEngine LLC · | 1 upvotes · 200K views

Microsoft provides an application known as Azure Data Studio that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux machines. It provides the ability to manage an Azure SQL database, as well as connecting to standard SQL Server databases.

See more
Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter · | 1 upvotes · 199.9K views

Hi Aashwiin, Looking at your stack (, it seems you are using Azure SQL Databases. I'll infer this is Microsoft SQL Server. Therefore, it certainly makes sense you stick with some of the official Microsoft Tooling to connect to it, query and administer it. You'd only be looking at MySQL Query Workbench, if you were running and connecting to a MySQL Database. - That said, could Azure MySQL ( be an option for you a this point? MySQL offers great performance. I have been running it at various companies (under AWS/RDS and AWS/Aurora) and have no reason to switch over to anything else. - Decision making-wise, how much do your want your local sql/mysql client to influence/weigh in your architecture/technology decisions, though? This can be a slippery slope. - Alternatively, other clients exist, such as "Table Plus" and allow you to connect, on Mac, to a variety of database servers, including SQL Server. It might be worth giving it a try.

See more

The problem I have is whether to choose Android Studio or Visual Studio? I have to develop a simple app for a school project that can work on both iPhone and Android.

The most important factors for me are Android and iOS compatibility. Although note that i would like to become a Software Engineer when i finish my course. (I'd like to work for Apple, just saying!)

After that id like easy integration for Google Ads and such if i do develop another app that people actually use to support development. (I'd also like to stick with one easy programming language that's compatible with a wide variety of platforms since i'm a beginner and have only ever used Pascal)

See more
Replies (1)

First of all - Android Studio and Visual Studio are IDE's. Tools to create code. What you are asking is programming framework. I assume that when you are talking about Android Studio you mean Native Android Development and by Visual Studio you mean Xamarin.

If you want to create crossplatform app then Native Android Development is NOT a way to go. Xamarin might work for you, BUT - you'd rather recommend you to go with Flutter. It's much more performant than Xamarin, programming model is friendlier for developer and technology seems just more refined. It's also officially supported by google, so no worries about support.

See more
Get Advice from developers at your company using StackShare Enterprise. Sign up for StackShare Enterprise.
Learn More
Pros of Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
Pros of Visual Studio
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 305
      Intellisense, ui
    • 244
      Complete ide and debugger
    • 165
    • 104
    • 93
    • 37
    • 35
      Node tools for visual studio (ntvs)
    • 33
      Free Community edition
    • 24
    • 17
      Bug free
    • 8
      Made by Microsoft
    • 6
      Full free community version
    • 5
      JetBrains plugins (ReSharper etc.) work sufficiently OK
    • 3
      Productivity Power Tools
    • 2
      Vim mode
    • 2
      VIM integration
    • 1
      I develop UWP apps and Intellisense is super useful
    • 1
      Cross platform development
    • 1
      The Power and Easiness to Do anything in any.. language
    • 1
      Available for Mac and Windows

    Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

    Cons of Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
    Cons of Visual Studio
      Be the first to leave a con
      • 15
      • 14
        Made by Microsoft
      • 6
        Sometimes you need to restart to finish an update
      • 3
        Too much size for disk
      • 3
        Only avalible on Windows

      Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

      What is Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio?

      It is an integrated environment for managing any SQL infrastructure, from SQL Server to Azure SQL Database. It provides tools to configure, monitor, and administer instances of SQL Server and databases. Use it to deploy, monitor, and upgrade the data-tier components used by your applications, as well as build queries and scripts.

      What is Visual Studio?

      Visual Studio is a suite of component-based software development tools and other technologies for building powerful, high-performance applications.

      Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

      What companies use Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio?
      What companies use Visual Studio?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio or Visual Studio.
      Sign up for StackShare EnterpriseLearn More

      Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

      What tools integrate with Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio?
      What tools integrate with Visual Studio?

      Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

      Blog Posts

      What are some alternatives to Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and Visual Studio?
      Microsoft SQL Server
      Microsoft® SQL Server is a database management and analysis system for e-commerce, line-of-business, and data warehousing solutions.
      MySQL WorkBench
      It enables a DBA, developer, or data architect to visually design, model, generate, and manage databases. It includes everything a data modeler needs for creating complex ER models, forward and reverse engineering, and also delivers key features for performing difficult change management and documentation tasks that normally require much time and effort.
      Microsoft Access
      It is an easy-to-use tool for creating business applications, from templates or from scratch. With its rich and intuitive design tools, it can help you create appealing and highly functional applications in a minimal amount of time.
      It is a cross-platform database tool for data professionals using the Microsoft family of on-premises and cloud data platforms on Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
      PostgreSQL is an advanced object-relational database management system that supports an extended subset of the SQL standard, including transactions, foreign keys, subqueries, triggers, user-defined types and functions.
      See all alternatives