If you’re used to high-grade database management tools like PHPMyAdmin or MySQL’s GUI tools, you might be wondering, is there something similar for .NET?
There are a few tools available if you google–most are at a cost. Also, if you’re using Visual Web Developer Express, along with SQL Server 2008 Express, you’re out of luck — you can’t use the Microsoft tools.
Microsoft has something called SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express (SMSS). SMSS seems nice, but it has a few pre-requisites and seems complicated to download and install.
The answer is, surprisingly, Visual Web Developer 2008 Express already has a built-in GUI database tool. To use it to create a new database (in a database file, similar to SQLite):
- Open up Visual Web Developer 2008 Express and load your project
- Right-click on App_Data and add select Add New Database
- Select a SQL Server Database
- In the top-right, under Solution Explorer, double-click on the new database file
You’re done! Now you can right-click to add tables, views, execute SQL queries, and everything else that you need to visually manage your database. Make sure you save your database once you create it; otherwise, it won’t persist.
Needless to say, this requires that you have SQL Server 2008 Express already installed on your computer.