On October 27, 2020, Microsoft released SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 18.7.1. This is a minor bug fix release after SSMS 18.7. You can download SSMS 18.7.1 here.
SSMS 18.7.1 Released
SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is Build number 15.0.18358.0. Like all recent 18.x releases, it is a single download that can be used for a fresh SSMS 18.7.1 installation. It can also upgrade any previous 18.x GA version to SSMS 18.7.1. The full release notes are here.
One big change with SSMS 18.7 is described by Microsoft this way:
“Beginning with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 18.7, Azure Data Studio is automatically installed alongside SSMS. Users of SQL Server Management Studio are now able to benefit from the innovations and features in Azure Data Studio. Azure Data Studio is a cross-platform and open-source desktop tool for your environments, whether in the cloud, on-premises, or hybrid.“
So far, this has been a pretty controversial change. Erik Darling created a User Voice suggestion on October 20th that has already gotten over 234 votes, and many comments.
The general consensus (which I agree with) seems to be that it is ok to offer ADS as an optional installation as part of SSMS, but not being able to opt out of the ADS installation will create problems for some organizations.
Duplicate Azure Data Studio Installations
One minor issue that this bundling creates is that you are very likely to end up with duplicate ADS installations on a machine. If you have followed Microsoft’s guidance by downloading and installing the User Installer version of ADS, you will see an entry called Azure Data Studio (User). The bundled copy of Azure Data Studio that SSMS 18.7 installs is a System Installer version.
You also might have an older version of ADS that you previously installed with the User Installer. SSMS 18.7 (and 18.7.1) will just install the System Installer version of ADS 1.23.0. The User Installer and System Installer versions are completely separate.
So, this means that you can easily end up with two separate copies of ADS that you may not know about. This is not a huge problem, since you can quickly and easily uninstall either or both copies of ADS without affecting SSMS at all. But this does create extra complexity and more work.
I am curious about what will happen when the next version of ADS is released (sometime in November). I am guessing that it will do version checking against whatever copy you have (User or System) and are trying to install (User or System), and not let you overwrite a newer version with an older version.
SSMS Release Cadence
SQL Server Management Studio has been on a somewhat erratic release cycle over the past two years. Despite some recent guidance about a bi-monthly cadence, we seem to be settling in to a quarterly release cycle.
|SSMS Version||Release Date|
|18.7.1||Oct 27, 2020|
|18.7||Oct 20, 2020|
|18.6||Jul 22, 2020|
|18.5.1||Jun 9, 2020|
|18.5||Apr 7, 2020|
|18.4||Nov 4, 2019|
|18.3.1||Oct 2, 2019|
|18.2||Jul 25, 2019|
|18.1||Jun 11, 2019|
|18.0||Apr 24, 2019|
|17.9.1||Nov 21, 2018|
Despite all the attention (and regular monthly releases) that Azure Data Studio (ADS) gets, SSMS is a very useful tool that is still better than ADS for pure database administration work. I am very happy to see SSMS getting a little more attention from Microsoft.
If you have any suggestions for SSMS, Microsoft is openly soliciting feedback on SSMS on User Voice for SQL Server.
If you have any questions about this post, please ask me here in the comments or on Twitter. I am pretty active on Twitter as GlennAlanBerry. Thanks for reading!
8 thoughts on “SSMS 18.7.1 Released”
By the way, there’s another Bug in SSMS that has been introduced in 18.7 and not fixed in this release, which breaks the GUI for creating Extended Events
I have discussed it briefly here; https://tsql.tech/theres-a-bug-with-extended-events-creation-in-sql-server-management-studio-18-7-what-it-is-and-a-workaround/
18.7 was an embarrassment, and they quickly released 18.7.1, which is marginally better but is still unstable and crashes frequently. Wish they could focus on stability rather than adding unwanted features such as ADS. If I want ADS guess what? I’ll download it.
I have been please with the latest improvements to SSMS however I’ve also noticed that 18.7.1 has been crashing a lot more frequently. Enough to make me want to say something about it here.
I have been pleased with the latest improvements to SSMS however I’ve also noticed that 18.7.1 has been crashing a lot more frequently. Enough to make me want to say something about it here. This happens when working with basic tasks. One interesting bug I’ve noticed is when attempting to open a new query window for an Azure SQL (PaaS) database, it won’t connect. This was for sure a show stopper for me since I need to be able to connect to the database when opening a new query window, so I rolled back to a prior version of SSMS until MCSFT can correct it.
Completely agreed about the need to keep separate tools separate.
The irony is that older versions of SQL Server had SSMS bundled. Microsoft took steps to separate the database engine from the most popular DBA tool for that engine. This was a Good Thing.
Bundling the more data-sciencey ADS with SSMS feels like a step backwards. If I do or don’t install ADS, it should be my choice.
(disclaimer: I have tried multiple versions of ADS for db performance tuning, and I’m opting out of it due to bugs and limitations. I love VSCode, but ADS is a buggy mess – for me.)
Yes, I think it would be better to make the ADS installation optional. Microsoft doesn’t seem to agree… 🙂