With SQL Server Management Studio being tightly coupled to SQL Server Core Engine, it had accrued a lot of technical debt over the period of time. This made the life of a T-SQL developer tougher, since there were not many features provided out of the box in SSMS, making the IDE less user friendly. However with the release of SQL Server 2016, SSMS is now decoupled from the core engine and is all together an independent installer. This is a big step forward, since it indicates that changes to SSMS will be more frequent and no longer be part of the monolithic releases of the Core engine.
Since the initial release of SQL Server 2016 in May 2016, there has been monthly updates to SSMS which includes enhancements, new features and bug fixes. This has been a big step in ensuring that the SSMS IDE is up to date and provides a superlative user experience. But how do you know that a new version of SSMS has been released?
Automatic Check for Updates
SSMS 2016 has a built in notification system to alert users when there are updates for new releases. Whenever you start SSMS, it automatically checks for updates and pops up a toast notification to the user informing that an update to SSMS is required.
When you click on the notification, it opens up a modal window displaying the installed versions of the SSMS components and the latest version available.
Clicking on the ‘Update’ button, redirects you to the Microsoft SSMS Download page-https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt238290.aspx
The new SQL Server Installer is pretty sleek — 3 Clicks is all you need!
Once you download and install the exe file, you will need to restart your machine to complete the setup. After that when you open SSMS and check the updates, you should be seeing a similar screen as below, confirming that SSMS is up to date.
In case you miss the notification you also have the option to manually check for updates. You can find this option from the Tools menu by selecting “Check for Updates…”
With monthly releases in place for SSMS, the automatic check for updates is a very helpful feature to ensure that users are notified and informed about the update schedule. SSMS 2016 is a free and independent installer, and is surely going to get lot of love from the SQL User Community.
To learn more about the other Productivity Enhancements in SQL Server 2016, please refer the link below, where I have noted all the new features in SSMS 2016 –