Besides moving over user data, what is the second biggest task that makes one resist moving over to a new workstation? Moving and reconfiguring the user settings in various tools and IDEs.
Whenever IT rebuilds a machine for me, one of the first things I set about doing is to customize the environment settings to my preference. Recently, I had to setup a new workstation for myself and accidentally discovered a hidden gem inside of the SQL Server Management Studio for SQL Server 2012 – The Import/Export Settings wizard.
Using the Import/Export Settings Wizard
The Import/Export settings wizard allows one to export and share the SSMS settings between computers including, but not limited to the following:
- General Settings
- Code snippet locations
- Object Explorer options
- Menu & command line customizations
- Text Editor
To demonstrate the usage of this feature, I have customized some of the keyboard, text editor and object explorer settings.
- Text Editor -> Tab & Indentation options for all languages – Indentation set to ‘smart’ and set tabs to save as spaces
- Designer -> Table & DB Designers –> Set ‘Auto generate change scripts’ to ON
- Object Explorer options –> Value for select (n) rows command – changed from 1000 to 10
Exporting user settings
The series of screenshots below explain exporting of user settings to a file.
Resetting all settings
The screenshots below show how to reset user settings (used in this case to simulate a workstation movement).
Importing User Settings
The screenshots below show the procedure to import user settings on another workstation.
Versions of SSMS prior to SQL Server 2012 did not come with the Import/Export Settings wizard. However, starting SQL Server 2012, it becomes very easy to move user customizations and settings between workstations in a matter of minutes.
I have already generated my configuration backup file via the Export wizard – have you?
Question for you:
- Do you know of any other such cool tools & utilities that come built-in with SQL Server which you had planned to explore? Do share the list with me – I will be happy to explore them for you and present a step-by-step guide for their usage
Until we meet next time,