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Gunjan Shukla
Gunjan Shukla

SQL Management Studio 2018: The Best Tool for SQL Server, Azure SQL, and Azure Synapse Analytics


SQL Management Studio Download 2018: A Guide for Beginners




If you are looking for a powerful and versatile tool to manage your SQL Server infrastructure, you might want to consider SQL Management Studio. SQL Management Studio is an integrated environment that allows you to access, configure, manage, administer, and develop all components of SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Managed Instance, SQL Server on Azure VM, and Azure Synapse Analytics. In this article, we will show you how to download and install SQL Management Studio 2018, as well as how to use some of its basic features.


What is SQL Management Studio?




SQL Management Studio (SSMS) is a graphical user interface (GUI) tool that provides a unified experience for working with various SQL Server components. SSMS enables you to perform common tasks such as creating and editing databases, tables, views, stored procedures, functions, triggers, indexes, users, roles, permissions, backups, restores, and more. SSMS also supports advanced features such as debugging, profiling, auditing, monitoring, tuning, reporting, integration services, analysis services, and machine learning services.




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Features and benefits of SQL Management Studio




Some of the main features and benefits of SSMS are:


  • It supports multiple versions of SQL Server from 2008 to 2022.



  • It can connect to local or remote instances of SQL Server or Azure SQL Database.



  • It can execute queries and scripts in multiple languages such as T-SQL, MDX, DAX, XMLA, PowerShell, R, Python, and C#.



  • It can manage and administer various SQL Server components such as databases, data warehouses, data lakes, big data clusters, polybase nodes, replication agents, log shipping servers, availability groups, failover clusters, etc.



  • It can design and deploy database objects such as tables, views, stored procedures, functions, triggers, indexes, constraints, etc.



  • It can import and export data from various sources and destinations such as flat files, Excel files, XML files, JSON files, ODBC sources, Azure Blob Storage , Azure Data Lake Storage , etc.



  • It can generate reports and dashboards using Reporting Services or Power BI Report Server.



  • It can integrate with other tools such as Visual Studio , Azure Data Studio , Data Migration Assistant , SQL Server Migration Assistant , etc.



Requirements and compatibility of SQL Management Studio




To use SSMS 2018 , you need to have the following requirements:


  • A Windows operating system that supports .NET Framework 4.7.2 or later. The supported operating systems are Windows 10 , Windows 8.1 , Windows 7 (SP1) , Windows Server 2019 , Windows Server 2016 , Windows Server 2012 (R2) , Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1) .



  • A minimum of 1 GB of RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB of RAM (64-bit).



  • A minimum of 6 GB of hard disk space.



  • A screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher.



SSMS 2018 is compatible with the following versions of SQL Server:


  • SQL Server 2008 - 2022 (including Express edition)



  • Azure SQL Database



  • Azure SQL Managed Instance



<li How to download and install SQL Management Studio 2018?




Now that you know what SSMS is and what it can do, you might be wondering how to get it on your computer. The good news is that SSMS 2018 is a free and standalone tool that does not require a SQL Server license or installation. You can download it from the official Microsoft website and install it on your Windows machine. Alternatively, you can also run SSMS 2018 on Linux or Docker containers using a remote desktop connection.


Download options for SQL Management Studio 2018




There are different editions of SSMS 2018 that you can download depending on your needs and preferences. The main difference between the editions is the level of features and functionalities they offer. Here is a brief overview of the available editions:


Free editions: Developer and Express




If you are looking for a free and lightweight version of SSMS 2018, you can choose between the Developer edition and the Express edition. Both editions are suitable for learning, development, and testing purposes, but they have some limitations in terms of scalability, performance, and security.


  • The Developer edition is a full-featured version of SSMS 2018 that supports all the features of the Enterprise edition, except for the license terms. You can use the Developer edition to connect to any edition of SQL Server or Azure SQL Database, but only for non-production environments.



  • The Express edition is a reduced version of SSMS 2018 that supports only the basic features of SQL Server. You can use the Express edition to connect to SQL Server Express instances or Azure SQL Database, but only for databases that are up to 10 GB in size.



You can download the Developer edition or the Express edition from .


Paid editions: Standard, Enterprise, and Web




If you are looking for a more robust and comprehensive version of SSMS 2018, you can choose between the Standard edition, the Enterprise edition, and the Web edition. These editions are suitable for production environments that require high availability, scalability, performance, and security.


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  • The Standard edition is a mid-range version of SSMS 2018 that supports most of the features of SQL Server, except for some advanced features such as online indexing, data compression, transparent data encryption, etc.



  • The Enterprise edition is a high-end version of SSMS 2018 that supports all the features of SQL Server, including the advanced features that are not available in the Standard edition.



  • The Web edition is a low-cost version of SSMS 2018 that supports only the essential features of SQL Server for web hosting and web application development.



You can download the Standard edition, the Enterprise edition, or the Web edition from , but you will need to purchase a SQL Server license or subscription to use them.


Installation steps for SQL Management Studio 2018




Once you have downloaded the appropriate edition of SSMS 2018 for your needs, you can proceed to install it on your machine. The installation process may vary slightly depending on your operating system and your preferences, but here are some general steps to follow:


Windows installation




  • Run the SSMS-Setup-ENU.exe file that you downloaded from the Microsoft website.



  • Accept the license terms and click Install.



  • Wait for the installation to complete and click Close.



  • Launch SSMS 2018 from the Start menu or the desktop shortcut.



Linux installation




  • Install a remote desktop client such as xrdp or xfreerdp on your Linux machine.



  • Connect to a Windows machine that has SSMS 2018 installed using your remote desktop client.



  • Launch SSMS 2018 from the Windows machine and use it as if you were on a local machine.



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