I like the feedback system that Microsoft built for SQL Server. This used to be the Connect system, but all the bug reports and feature requests are now at feedback.azure.com. That’s the place where you can send notes to Microsoft or vote on those that others have submitted.
In case you are wondering if this makes a difference, it does. Years ago, there pushback for Service Packs from Microsoft, and after a lot of lobbying from myself and others, and a number of votes, Microsoft released more Service Packs for a few versions. They’ve also made a few other changes in the product, or fixed bugs when enough people vote. Not always, but it does happen at times.
When this system was first released, I wondered if Microsoft would email a digest or some list of items that they had triaged of how the various items were rated. I could see this as a way customers might learn what others think is important, as well as what Microsoft sees as feasible. Maybe where would be some repeat voting that could influence the products’ direction.
Recently I saw Brent Ozar posted the top 10 items by votes with a few comments. Of the items on this list, I found some interesting ones. I know STRING_SPLIT gets an ordinal in Azure and SQL Server 2022, so that’s one item that MS responded to. I see a few SSMS ones, which are always interesting to me. I’d hope that MS would include a dark theme and the (maybe) the debugger back in as many people request those features. I’m not sold on the debugger, and it wasn’t always stable for me, so I wouldn’t use it, but lots of people like the idea of a debugger. Maybe if it were limited to the dev edition?
Microsoft looks at the feedback, but the feedback isn’t a vote in their mind. It’s a metric that helps them triage and decides when things are important enough to work on, assuming the effort isn’t extremely high. Working in a software company gives me a better appreciation for the decisions made on which features to include or not, especially given the long-term support effort for any features.
It can feel hopeless when you vote for something and Microsoft doesn’t build it, but when enough people, especially big customers, want something, it gets built. If you look through the top items, a few have been added to SQL Server 2022. Personally, I want a FOR CSV along with a BULK EXPORT command. I appreciate some difficulties here and possible permission/security issues, but this would be very handy.
What changes do you want today? Is the dark theme or the debugger at the top of your list or is there something else?
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A very easy wat to see what SSMS needs is to look at what features like Red-gates SQL Prompt, offer in their non-free SSMS related products. The simple act of being able to dump query results to Excel without a 3rd party product would be a very welcome feature. Not that I seek to see MS make SQL prompt pointless, but that some f fthe features it has like Excel really should already be a core of SSMS being that it and Excel are both MS products.
As of current the #1 suggestion is to put the debugger back into SSMS. Really makes you wonder what they were thinking when they removed it. When the #1 most requested feature is to add back something you removed that should be a huge red-flag that you made a huge mistake when you removed it.