Ever jump on a machine to connect to a SQL Server and find out… whoops! No tools. For some reason, the client machine doesn’t have SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) installed. Now I’m not talking about not having the SSMS installed on the server, but on the local workstation that you need to connect to the server with.
No tools has happened to me many times and, in fact, happened to me this past week. In the past, this would mean running around trying to get find the client’s SQL Server installation media. Maybe downloading a 4+ GB ISO of the entire SQL Server installation from TechNet. Or, hopefully, making sure the client had USB ports open on their machines and that I had my installation media backup drive with me. A lot of things that were more work than one would like.
With the release of SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1, there is a new option on the table. Instead of downloading everything, you can download just the management tools through the Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Express download page. Just select either SQLManagementStudio_x64_ENU.exe or SQLManagementStudio_x86_ENU.exe from the download options and you’ll have the full version of SSMS at your fingertips; in about a quarter the size of the full installation download.