Database Administrators Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for database professionals who wish to improve their database skills and learn from others in the community. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Forgive me if this is the wrong exchange site for this question. It seems like the right one.

I have been a fan of writing queries manually for a long time, but recently I've got into the habit of using the query designer in Management Studio for one reason - it allows editing of data in-place. (There's probably a way of doing this in the manual query window but I haven't found out yet)

Anyway, today I wanted to create a new instance of it for a table, and preserve the one I already had open. It wouldn't let me. When I clicked 'open table' on the object explorer it just took me to the window I already had open. This meant that if I want to query the data in a different way I have to abandon the query I had set up.

Is there a way of getting a second (or more) query designer window for the same table?

It occurs to me that I can just open a second instance of the entire app (SSMS) but that seems overkill for what must be a simple/common need.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I don't believe there is a way to do this. SSMS seems to prevent you from opening more than one instance, and the only workaround I can think of is not to kick SSMS but rather just open a new instance of the entire application (as you've already guessed as well).

In any case, I strongly recommend you revert to your previous behavior - the query designer is full of bugs and your "edit data in place" feature actually means that the grid has to place unnecessary locks on the underlying table. On a concurrent system this can be disastrous - what kind of concurrency handling do you think is there? You should try to open two instances of SSMS and try to edit the same row in each copy. Fun fun!

Even though it is slightly more work to write, using proper DML (update/insert/delete) in a proper query window is a much better approach to ad-hoc data modification IMHO. And I have long been advocating to stay away from the SSMS visual designers in all their various forms. The team tried but some of the faulty code has been in there since Query Analyzer and it will never be fixed.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the info. Good to know. I actually picked the edit-in-query-designer habit up from a fully qualified Developer who worked for us. Do the locks stop other sources from being able to read the tables? Or just write to them? – MrVimes May 22 '12 at 20:00
Sorry, don't know, haven't tried in a long, long time. – Aaron Bertrand May 22 '12 at 20:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.