The SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) Query Designer is a tool that lets its users visualize queries to databases as they are being built. It’s part of the SQL Server Management Studio infrastructure and can be accessed via the studio’s Query menu.
Businesses collect and store a fair bit of data. The data they amass could be anything from the names and payment information of subscribers to their services, list of suppliers and sales reps, the number of tickets logged through their customer service department, and so on. Such information is typically stored in a database and accessed when needed.
Over time, the information kept in the database will need to be updated as old subscribers pull out and new ones sign up with their details, or as new tickets are logged. Bits of data will have to be added, removed, and revised. Database users may also want to view some sections of the available information or perform certain actions on them.
These actions are usually carried out by issuing queries or commands to the database to call up information, modify it, or perform any number of analytics operations. These queries are written in special programming language designed for this purpose. For the sort of databases used by businesses, the most relevant and widely used of such languages is the Structured Query Language, or SQL.
The SQL Server Management Studio is a product that’s designed to develop and manage queries for databases. It’s the tool of choice for operations that keep large databases- typically businesses that have to collect, process, and store big tranches of employee, customer, and other kinds of information.
The SQL Query Designer lets the user see the data tables and the elements they contain, and makes it easier for the builder to know what queries or orders they have to issue to achieve the effects they want.
While all of this is important for any setup that works with a lot of data, it’s not the sort of thing that any employee can handle.
If the business has an IT team, it could hand them the responsibility of interacting with its databases at the programming language level. The tasks in this domain are best left to database administrators, software developers, and other persons with an appreciable grasp of SQL and coding methodologies needed to manage such systems.
However, other personnel (outside IT teams) will need to access the information on the database from time to time. Sales managers need to see what their sales numbers are like, and HR managers have to be on top of data pertaining to employee activity and welfare. They either have to learn to interact with raw data or find a way to access the information in a language and format that’s easy for them to understand.
If they are unable to obtain working knowledge of the SQL language or get acquainted with the SQL Server Management Studio environment, they’ll need a robust tool that takes the complexity out of managing databases and allows them to build and send queries or commands on demand.
One way out of this is to deploy a dynamic SQL query builder that’s suited for personnel with no SQL or coding background (sometimes referred to as Visual SQL). An example of this sort of package is DashboardFox, a Business Intelligence platform which works dense data into user-friendly information, and takes out a lot of the coding requirements for building queries.
The crux of DashboardFox’s functions is powered by the DashboardFox app, a semantic layer that’s deployed on top of the user’s raw data. When it’s so placed, it maps the complex mass of business data into corporate information by labeling the data items in regular business terms.
In simple terms, the DashboardFox App translates raw data into recognizable corporate language.
The DashboardFox platform is designed to accommodate multiple DashboardFox apps, which the user can build for specific data sources within their organization. They could have a DashboardFox app that deals with data from sales and ticketing systems and another connected to their phone systems.
These apps can be tailored to suit the different data sources to which they are connected. They can also be designed for the level of expertise and the niche in which the user operates (for example, terminologies related to sales or HR).
The great thing about the app building process is that it requires little or no knowledge of code. It’s a matter of knowing what options on the menu to click for each aspect of the building process that the user wants to execute.
It’s worth pointing out that tools like DashboardFox are not replacements for the SQL Query Designer. The DashboardFox program does have an app building feature that allows its users to bring up data tables and join them, the SQL Query Designer can still let them view those tables and see what data items they contain.
As such, the SQL Query Designer comes in handy in the process of building the DashboardFox apps. It helps the architect see the data tables and the values that they contain and the labels on them, and ultimately determine which items are related to each other.
The SQL Query Designer is an important part of the data administrator’s toolkit. It is indispensable in getting a holistic idea of the interrelationships between databases and how data should be handled.
When humans can’t ‘see’ the relationships between raw values in tables, the SQL Query Designer gives them the images that help them take the next query decision.
Also, businesses in today’s complex and globalized marketplace require high-level business intelligence to achieve growth objectives. It’s at the level of the query designer that such intelligence starts to come alive and where data-driven organizations can chart their pathway to success.
To learn more about the features of DashboardFox and how the IT team can now provide self-service BI to their users without sacrificing security (and without sacrificing budget), contact us for a live demo and discussion today.