Previous Next

SQL Complete - Alternative to Native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense

Contents

Introduction

dbForge SQL Complete is a useful add-in for SQL Server Management Studio. It offers powerful autocompletion and formatting of T-SQL code and has many distinct advantages over native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

SQL Complete prompts the most appropriate expressions when you are writing SQL code. Besides extending List Members, Complete Word, and Parameter Info features, SQL Complete adds SQL Formatter to enrich the developer toolkit and provide the fastest T-SQL query typing ever possible.

Integration to different environments

SQL Complete provides users an opportunity to integrate dbForge SQL Complete to different development environments:

  • SQL Server 2008, 2008R2, 2012, 2014
  • SQL Server 2000, 2005
  • SQL Server Express
  • SQL Server Compact
  • SQL Azure
  • Visual Studio 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013

Native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense does not support integration to Visual Studio, SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005, and SQL Server Compact.

Code completion

Support of various query types

dbForge SQL Complete provides context-based suggestions and formatting in such queries like SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, USE, CREATE (table, procedure, function, trigger, view), ALTER (procedure, function, trigger, view, schema), EXEC, DROP, GRANT, REVOKE, DENY, ENABLE TRIGGER, DISABLE TRIGGER, control flow statements (IF, WHILE), BEGIN ... END blocks.

Intellisense of SSMS supports only some of the statements.

Context-based prompt of different object types

When typing queries, dbForge SQL Complete saves your time by providing you a list of all available object names from the specified table. Each object type has its own icon, so it can be easily recognized.

Native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense also supports different object types but not all of them.

Context-based prompt of keywords

Also dbForge SQL Complete offers a list of available keywords to use in the certain position of your code.

Native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense doesn't support this feature at all.

Context-based prompt of linked servers

You can work with the following linked servers that are supported in dbForge SQL Complete:

  • SQL Server 2014
  • SQL Server 2012
  • SQL Server 2008
  • SQL Server 2005
  • SQL Server 2000
  • SQL Azure

Context-based prompt of linked servers is not supported in native intellisense of SSMS.

Word autocompletion

If you type first several symbols of a database object name and dbForge SQL Complete finds only one match, the name will be automatically inserted into your query to complete the word.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Automatic filtering of object in the suggestion list

When typing a query, dbForge SQL Complete analyzes what you are typing and automatically filters names of objects and keywords in the suggestion list.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Context-based sorting of suggestions in the list

dbForge SQL Complete sorts names of database objects by type and displays most relevant suggestions at the top of the list, others are moved to the bottom whereas native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense only sorts names of database objects in alphabetical order.

Determining a current database or schema

dbForge SQL Complete displays a list of database objects from the current database or schema even when their names are not specified in a query. The names of the current database or schema are determined basing on connection properties of the current SQL document.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Automatic displaying suggestions while typing

When typing a query in the SQL editor, dbForge SQL Complete analyzes the text you're typing and displays the most relevant suggestions for the current context. There is a possibility to cancel automatic displaying of suggestions or edit delay time for displaying them.

This feature is also implemented in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Statement expansion

SQL Snippets

With the help of this feature recurrent using of code fragments becomes more comfortable and simple. Using the feature you can:

  • Insert code templates by pressing Tab
  • Add/edit templates with the help of Snippets Manager
  • Add parameters to the template

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Inserting columns list on pressing Tab

A list of available columns for the needed objects (tables, views, etc.) may be inserted instead of the * symbol by pressing the Tab key.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Context-based prompt for JOIN clause

For JOIN clauses, dbForge SQL Complete can suggest a full JOIN clause basing on foreign keys, or it can suggest conditions basing on column names and foreign keys. This suggestion is available after the JOIN and ON keywords.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Automatic alias generation in SELECT statements

dbForge SQL Complete automatically generates aliases for table objects (table, view, function, synonym, sub-query) available in the FROM list of SQL statements. You can aslo assign custom aliases to a table, view, table-valued function, or synonym, and use alias masks to specify conditions and actions for alias generation.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Creating custom aliases

You can aslo assign custom aliases to a table, view, table-valued function, or synonym, and use alias masks to specify conditions and actions for alias generation.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Expanding UPDATE, INSERT, ALTER, EXEC statements

The feature allows you to type just available table names, views, procedures, functions or triggers in UPDATE, INSERT, ALTER, and EXEC statement and expand the statement to the full template by pressing the Tab key.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Object information and code navigation

Context-based prompt of function parameters

A hint with information about the function and its parameters is displayed when you call any built-in or user-defined function in a query.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Quick object info

If you move the mouse cursor to the identifier, information about the database object will be displayed. The information may include table column names with data types, additional column properties (e.g., not null and identify attributes), primary, unique, and foreign keys, object type and an available user description.

This feature is partially supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Document Outline window

The feature eases navigation in large SQL documents. The current document structure is displayed in the Document Outline window. Also you can synchronize the structure with the text straight from the code by selecting Synchronize Document Outline from the context menu.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

"Go to definition" for database objects

You can navigate from Code Editor straight to the object in Object Explorer (Server Explorer in Visual Studio). By pressing F12 or selecting the corresponding item from the popup menu when the cursor is over the object identifier, the object will be found in the Object Explorer tree.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Highlight occurrences of an identifier

With the help of the feature you can see all identifier occurrences. When you move the mouse cursor to the identifier, all the identifier occurrences in the text are highlighted.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Usage of syntax highlight settings for the suggestions list

dbForge SQL Complete highlights keywords, built-in functions and other objects in the suggestion list basing on the corresponding settings of SSMS.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Code formatting and execution

Query formatting

For convenient reading of SQL code dbForge SQL Complete provides you an opportunity to perform formatting of queries paying attention to case, line breaks, whitespaces, indenting, wrapping, etc. and set up a variety of formatting options.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Execute Current Statement

SQL Complete provides an opportunity to execute the current SQL statement without selecting it. You have to just place the cursor in the statement and press Ctrl+Shift+E.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Other features

SQL Refactoring

The Rename functionality provides an easy way to change an object name for a new one that better reveals its purpose and automatically finds and corrects all references to it. SQL refactoring is available for tables, temporary tables and columns, views, stored procedures, functions, local variables, and SQLCMD variables.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Export/Import settings wizard

You can quickly export the tools setting to a file for further usage.

Semi-transparent view of the suggestion box

There is a possibility to switch the suggestion box to semi-transparent view by holding Ctrl.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Suggesting methods for columns and variables

dbForge SQL Complete can suggest methods for columns and variables of the varchar(max), nvarchar(max), varbinary(max), and xml types.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Sorting keywords by relevance

There is an option for sorting keywords by relevance in the suggestion list. If the option is switched off, keywords are sorted in alphabetical order.

This feature allows grouping keywords in the suggestion list by the degree of relevance of a keyword to some specific context. This helps to single out the most appropriate keywords for commit.

This feature is not supported in native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense.

Conclusion

Being an alternative to native Microsoft T-SQL Intellisense, dbForge SQL Complete will help database administrators and developers to speed up typing SQL queries with no extra actions taking advantage of all its features.

Return to the list of articles »