Free GUI Database Tool For Web Developer and Sql Server 2008 Express

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):

  1. Open up Visual Web Developer 2008 Express and load your project
  2. Right-click on App_Data and add select Add New Database
  3. Select a SQL Server Database
  4. In the top-right, under Solution Explorer, double-click on the new database file

adding an SQL Server database to Visual Web Developer Express 2008

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.

About Ashiq Alibhai, PMP

Ashiq has been coding C# since 2005. A desktop, web, and RIA application developer, he's touched ASP.NET MVC, ActiveRecord, Silverlight, NUnit, and all kinds of exciting .NET technologies. He started C# City in order to accelerate his .NET learning.
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