One of the many new features introduced in 2008 that would be of interest to DBAs, developers, and those that write reports using T-SQL is an enhancement called IntelliSense. Developers who use Visual Studio will already be familiar with this feature. IntelliSense is not quite as advanced in SQL Server as it is in Visual Studio, but it is still very useful and well implemented. This feature is available when writing T-SQL statements within SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2008.
After implementing IntelliSense, you will no longer need to remember T-SQL syntax or the names of database objects. This feature provides T-SQL syntax checking and automatic prompting for database object names and keywords. It automatically fills out the syntax as you type. Syntax errors are displayed using a red squiggly marker at the end of each T-SQL statement. This can speed up software development by reducing the amount of typing required and minimizing references to external documentation.
IntelliSense offers a few additional features besides syntax checking and word completion:
- List Members
- Parameter Info
- Quick Info
- Complete Word
- Refresh Local Cache
These features can be accessed by navigating to Edit ? IntelliSense from the SSMS 2008 menu.
Note: Unfortunately, the IntelliSense feature is not available when connecting SQL Server Management Studio 2008 to SQL Server 2000 or 2005 databases.