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Free Microsoft SQL Server Tools

Management Studio Alternatives and Add-ons

Performance Monitoring Tools

  • Idera SQLCheck – http://www.idera.com/freetools
  • IgniteFree – From Confio, editions for OracleSQL ServerDB2, and Sybase.
  • Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) – Analyzes log files for best practice issues and lets you know in stoplight color coding; values for exchange, sql, iis, etc.
  • Performance Dashboards – SQL Server 2005 SP2 Performance dashboards
  • Qure Analyzer – Profiler analyzer that can compare to a baseline capture.
  • SQL SPY by Hybridx provides 75 features for SQL Server 2000 and 2005 instances.
  • SQL Server 2005 Performance Collector Tool – Works with Health and History Tool.
  • SQL Server 2005 Health and History Tool
  • DMVStats – collects, analyzes and reports on SQL Server 2005 DMV performance data
  • PSSDiag – SQL 7/2000 diagnostic tool from PSS.
  • SQL Heartbeat – Monitors servers waits, IO, Cache Hits, active processes, locks and deadlocks.
  • Server Performance Advisor – Microsoft Windows 2003 tool for actively troubleshooting IIS, AD, DNS, TS, SQL, and others.
  • LogParser – Analyze those text based log files with this tool to query text files like a database.
  • Performance Monitor Wizard – Make your Perf Monitor setup easier with this tool.
  • ClearTrace – SQL MVP created a profiler aggregation tool to roll up all the common queries to see overall usage.
  • TraceAnalyzer – Similar to ClearTrace, but more simplistic.
  • LogMan – Win2k Resource Kit – windows command line tool you can create a perfmon collection definition and push it out to all your servers, perfmon command line scripting.
  • ReLog – Win2k Resource Kit – windows command line tool to extract and manipulate perfmon data from saved log files. You can resample the log files and store them in a database via a ODBC DSN name. You can also combine log files and extract data from them specifying the time period too. You can relog to csv file also.
  • Typeperf – Win2k Resource Kit – Write perfmon information to command window or a log file. Or just see what counters are available on remote computer.
  • Windows Performance Analysis Toolkit – Now visible in Windows 2008 xperf is command line tool that is monitoring at a lower level than perfmon.
  • SQL Server 2005 Express Profiler – a free SQL Profiler for SQL Express
  • Who is Active – A script from MVP Adam Machanic that I install on all of my servers.

Performance Benchmarking


  • Idera SQLPermissions – http://www.idera.com/freetools – Move logins and permissions to one or many destinations.
  • Quest discovery wizard – Find SQL servers hiding on your network, in Beta.
  • SQLPing – Find SQL servers (including MSDE) on your network.
  • And other misc SQL password tools for those forgotten passwords in DTS and stored procedures on their site www.sqlsecurity.com.
  • KeePass – Storing passwords safely.
  • LastPass – Another password storing tool, but more useful for individual.
  • Centrify Express – Active Directory integration with Linux, UNIX, & MAC.

Code Formatting


Visualize your DB

  • BI Documentor – The database only version is free, but full BI stack documentation available in full product.
  • SQLInternals – View graphically your SQL data as it is stored on your database server.
  • DbVisualizer – Download their main program and it is free version, apply for trial key to unlock full capabilities.
  • Free Visio viewer application.

Data Modeling and Data Visualization

Database Server Administration Tools

SQL Comparison and Script Export

SSIS Specific

Windows Administrator Tools

  • Royal TS – RDP Session manager in one interface ver 1.5.1 is free.
  • mRemote – RDP, VNC, HTTP, ICS, SSH, Telnet, Rlogin, RAW session manager.
  • RDP Connection Manager 2.0 – Microsoft Clustering team tool for use with Windows 2008 R2.
  • SYSInternals – All windows server admins should use their tools. ShellRunAs for Windows 2008!
  • RichCopy – An internal MS tool that is finally available to outside world. It can copy files with multiple threads, simple UI, lots of Robocopy like options. MS developer’s blog. Performance testing link.
  • Teracopy – Another replacement for windows crappy file copy operations to be used with right-clicking in explorer.
  • ClearTrace – utility to easier read your saved trace files
  • SMS Trace – Installing just the Common Tools, you can use this tool to monitor log files in real time as they change. Has nice search highlighting feature also.
  • Filezilla – FTP opensource project.
  • WinSCP – Secure FTP client.
  • 7-Zip – The BEST file archive tool out there hands down. Don’t use winzip.
  • TCP Port Query tools – Article I wrote up on PortQryUI and PortReporter.
  • Quest Software – Lots of Systems administration tools for free.
  • Regexdesigner – GUI interface for Regex expressions.
  • Microsoft Network Monitor 3.3 – Latest version of Microsoft Network Monitor Tool (packet capture).
  • Wireshark – Next iteration of Etheral, a great network packet capture tool.
  • MyDefrag – Works great, I use on my desktop and creates automated schedules for you.
  • Defraggler – Defrag your harddrive.
  • WinAudit from Parmavex. It creates a lengthy report detailing software, licenses, security, hardware, network settings, etc…
  • CPU-Z by Franck Delattre from CPUID. Provides very detail information on the CPU, motherboard, and memory.
  • GPartEd – Disk partition change tool.
  • TrueCrypt – Encrypt files on your computer, can install on USB flash drive also.
  • AutoHotKey – Create your own hotkeys to do just about anything.
  • SAN Monitor – Solarwinds create a desktop gadget to monitor your SAN.
  • SolarWinds – Many free tools including WMI monitor, AD permissions analyzer, Exchange monitor, Network AppFlow monitor, SAN monitor, TFTP server, VM monitor, and more.
  • AdvancedRenamer – Finally, a decent renaming tool.
  • SpaceSniffer – Need to find what is hogging space on your drive? Look no further, this app is awesome!

PowerShell and WMI

Text Editors

  • PSPad – Has ftp component, external tool linkage including compilers. HTML smart.
  • NotePad++ – Like textpad, but free.
  • XML Notepad 2007 – Great tool instead of IE for viewing and editing xml files.
  • WinMerge – Not an editor, but text file comparison tool.

File Search

  • Agent Ransack – New 2010 Version. Has regex capability and it runs on Vista/Windows 2008 server.
  • Wingrep – Doesn’t work on Windows 2008/Vista.
  • Google Desktop Search – plus many more cool tools.
  • TextCrawler – RegEx capable, can do multiple files.

Image Manipulation

  • Gimp – Been around for years for all OS’s, Very comprehensive set of tools.
  • Paint.net – Shares name of Paint that comes with OS, but is 100 times better.
  • Picasa – Image collection tool from Google, can do quick and simple photo fixes, and the collage feature is just awesome.
  • InkScape – An Illustrator tool.


  • UStream – Stream your webcast video live with Twitter tweets or live chat.
  • CamStudio – Video Screen Recording Software – super cheap, but not free.
  • SharedView – Microsoft Live Meeting based application to share upto 15 people.
  • Teamviewer – Share your screen with others, like SharedView.
  • Mikogo – Desktop screen sharing and saving for up to 10 users. Dual control and many other cool features.
  • Jing – From TechSmith, creates visuals like screen shots, screen capture videos, for you to share with others.
  • Windows media encoder – It saves the video in wmv format and can be played in both windows media player and Real Player. It can also record your screen and voice for demos too.
  • Handbrake – Convert DVDs to smaller formats or convert other existing files.


  • ACID – Sony’s ACID program is awesome, they have a free xpress version.
  • Audacity – Sourceforge hosted opensource app that has tons of features.


  • GreenShot – easy to use screen snapshot. The tool has an editor that allows you to add comments, shapes, arrows, etc…
  • Cropper – Screen capture app that works on all Windows flavors.
  • PicPick – provides more features than GreenShot and some differences in the objects you can add to an image. Some of its extra features include color picker, pixel ruler, protractor, crossbar, and whiteboard.
  • InputDirector – Control multiple computers from one computer.
  • SyncToy – Good desktop tool to sync files on just about everything. Requires MS Sync framework. Live Mesh Beta is latest iteration and much greater flexibility.
  • RocketDock – Mac like control bar for your pc with lots of cool icons.
  • CCleaner – Remove all traces of your internet and application use on your computer.
  • Evernote – Free tool like OneNote, but on many platforms.
  • Multimonitor Taskbar – Add taskbar on all your monitors.
  • Soluto – Speed up your PC boot time, heal application crashes, and lighten your browser.
  • CrashPlan – Backup to other PCs for free, or to the cloud for a fee.

Microsoft Office

Disk Recovery

  • Recuva – Restore deleted files and emails from all hardware mediums.
  • PhotoRec – Photo recovery on removable media.
  • TestDisk – Recover lost partitions, recover boot sectors, deleted files from FAT, NTFS, and EXT2


Server Monitoring Tools

  • SpiceWorks – Inventory, network map, helpdesk app.
  • Nagios – Variety of flavors, been around for long time. Search google for best version.


  • DocAve Extender – Move your blob storage (documents) off SQL and on to fileshares for free!

Other good lists:

Scott Hanselman’s Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows.
DougSTE Useful tools and add-ons for IIS troubleshooting and IIS7

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