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Alternatives to Microsoft’s SQL Server Management Studio

 1.)    LINQPad      Tired of querying in antiquated SQL?


Well, you don’t have to!  LINQPad lets you interactively query databases in a modern query language: LINQ.  Kiss goodbye to SQL Management Studio!

LINQPad supports everything in C# 4.0 and Framework 4.0:

  • LINQ to Objects
  • LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework
  • LINQ to XML
  • Parallel LINQ

And that’s not all – you can also query:

LINQPad is also a great way to learn LINQ: it comes loaded with 500 examples from the book, C# 4.0 in a Nutshell.  There’s no better way to experience the coolness of LINQ and functional programming.

And LINQPad is more than a LINQ tool: it’s an ergonomic C#/VB/F# scratchpad that instantly executes any expression, statement block or program with rich output formatting – the ultimate in dynamic development. Put an end to those hundreds of Visual Studio Console projects cluttering your source folder!

Best of all, LINQPad standard edition is free and can run without installation (or with a low-impact setup). The executable is 3MB and is self-updating. There is even a version that runs in Google Chrome.

LINQPad Screenshot


LINQPad requires .NET Framework 4.0 (or Framework 3.5 for LINQPad 2.x).

If you have Visual Studio 2010 or Visual C# 2010 Express, Framework 4.0 will already be installed.

LINQPad supports SQL Express, SQL 2008, SQL 2005, SQL 2000, SQLite, MySQL and Oracle.

Download LINQPad

Four download options:

Standalone Executable

For .NET Framework 4.0:
Download LINQPad.exe
Authenticode Signed v4.31.0For .NET Framework 3.5:
Download LINQPad.exe
(right-click, Save As…) v2.31.0

Low-Impact Setup

  • Creates desktop shortcut
  • Creates .LINQ file association
  • Authenticode signed

Download setup for FW 4.0
Download setup for FW 3.5


2.)Logo SqlDbx        Products  SqlDbx Personal  free  SqlDbx Professional

SqlDbx screenshot SqlDbx is a fast and easy to use database SQL development IDE for database administrators and application or database developers who work in heterogeneous Database Server environments. SqlDbx built around an advanced SQL Editor and Database Object Explorer. SqlDbx provides a consistent user interface between different DBMS Systems. The intuitive and straight forward interface allows developers to improve their productivity by having easy access to the most commonly used features. Run queries, execute scripts and browse database objects without leaving editor window. SqlDbx is a standalone executable file, so no installation is necessary. Furthermore, SqlDbx does not install or modify anything on the user’s computer.

Features at a glance:

  • High performance native support for major Database Servers including Microsoft, Sybase ASE, Oracle and IBM DB2/UDB
  • Browse / Explore Servers
  • Fast, intelligent, extensive and highly customizable Intellisense
  • Advanced Script Editor with Syntax highlighting, Auto Complete, Speed Typing, Script Variables, Drag/Drop, Column (Block) Mode
  • Automatically highlight matching parenthesis for BEGIN/END, IF/END IF, CASE/END, … SQL blocks
  • Full Unicode support
  • x86 and x64 Versions
  • Visual Schema and Data Diff, File Diff, Quick Diff
  • SQL Object Scripting
  • SQL Formatter / Beautifier
  • Generate SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, WHERE IN data modification statements directly from Result Grid
  • SQL Templates with support for formal parameters
  • Parameterized Queries and substitution variables
  • Import / Export to CSV, XML, Excel
  • Schema Object browser
  • SQL statement execution history
  • Favorite objects. Find object
  • Search in Database and in Result Grid
  • Directly edit table data in Result Grid
  • Sort, filter, format, retrieve parent / child data rows, export and transpose data in Result Grid
  • Execute procedures and functions with automatic argument specification
  • Display query plan and query statistics
  • Administrative Views
  • Portable mode
  • Simple deployment and removal. No dll’s or other dependencies. Just one executable (1.9 meg.)

Supported DBMS Systems

  • Oracle ® 8i – 11g
  • Microsoft ® SQL Server 6.5 – 2008
  • IBM DB2 LUW ® 7.x – 9.x
  • IBM DB2 z/OS ® 7.x – 9.x
  • IBM DB2 iSeries ® 5.x – 6x
  • Sybase ASE ® 10.x – 15.x
  • Sybase Anywhere ® 9.x – 11.x
  • Sybase IQ ® 12.5 – 15.x
  • MySQL ® 5.x
  • PostgreSQL ® 8.2.x – 9.x.x
  • Informix ® 9.x – 11.x
  • Kdb+ ®
  • ODBC 3.0 compliant sources

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