I'm pretty sure Microsoft have pulled one of the most useful features for performing quick edits on a SQL Server Database within the Visual Studio IDE. It seems to have only affected SQL 2012 instances, but from the Server Explorer I can no longer right click on a table "Show Table Data", pop open the SQL pane, query the data then perform inline edits on the results (as if I were modifying a spreadsheet).

Show Table Data

This means I now need to go into SSMS to make these kind of quick updates. Does anybody know of a plugin I can use with VS 2012 to bring back this functionality? It seems odd to me that Microsoft have two different development trajectories with SSDT and SSMS? Are they designed to serve different purposes? Can SSMS be integrated into the Visual Studio IDE? I'd rather have a unified development environment if possible.

Any thoughts on a workaround for this problem would be much appreciated.


I know some purists would quiver at the thought of treating a database table like a spreadsheet, but semantically they are not a world apart, plus this is supported in SSMS. I'm more in favour of relying on GUI based approaches where I can to speed up routine tasks, why some would balk at this I have no idea?

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    Quicker <> better. For one, if you make a mistake, will you notice? Also how do you tell someone else what you did, store the data change in source control, etc. etc.? And do you have any idea what kind of locks open table takes on the underlying system? If this is production you could be asking for trouble. Just because I can wash the dishes with a power washer doesn't mean I should. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 15:11
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    That's why you say BEGIN TRANSACTION; and don't run COMMIT TRANSACTION; until you're sure. Are you saying you're more likely to fat-finger an UPDATE statement that you can review before executing, than to click in the wrong cell or update a row to the wrong value as you're hopping around a spreadsheet happy to be going quickly? Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 15:14
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    If you started a transaction before firing off at the hip, consequences are ultimately NULL because you can issue a ROLLBACK. You can't undo points and clicks. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 15:27
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    It's more a case of getting stuff done, furthermore it's documented and supported in SSMS msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/5x6z1x9d.aspx.
    – QFDev
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 18:59
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    Aaron, in what world is someone pointing VS at a production DB. Clearly this is a development\test environment where this kind of approach is suitable and appropriate.
    – Paul
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


You have to install SSDT for this.

enter image description here

  • I'm running SSDT, the vital step that I need here is to first perform a SELECT query after viewing the results. With any sort of query in SSDT the resultset can't be modified. It works fine from "Server Explorer" when working on a SQL 2008 Instance, but not 2012.
    – QFDev
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 15:33
  • After running a SELECT query I end up with something like this i.sstatic.net/PTWUF.png.
    – QFDev
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 15:41

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