Posted in SQL Server

Setting up Azure Data Studio

I’ve been wanting to work more with Azure Data Studio for a while. I attended Vicky Harp’s (t) session about SQL Server tools at PASS Summit and I really appreciated what I was seeing. But it’s hard to just jump to a new tool without having a goal. I think I finally found some good ones. I have several presentations to work on. After seeing others use Azure Data Studio for demos, I like the way it can add comments around the various code sections in notebooks so I decided that I want to use it for my sessions as well. Plus I like the idea that I can use one tool for SQL and for PowerShell. I can already see how useful that is so I want to play with that ability more as well.

It had been a while since I had installed ADS or updated it or probably even opened it to be honest. I still have it set up to have it show the welcome page when it starts. But this is what I saw:

01 - Initial Welcome Screen
Welcome screen

Notice the bottom corner:

02 - Bottom corner update

As I said, it had been a while. As I had just been updating everything else on my personal laptop, I figured it was a good time to do this. When I clicked on the Icon, I saw the option: Restart to Update. I also found that under the Window Menu option. Clicking the option started the update:

03 - update screen
When it finished the update, Azure Data Studio opened right up again.

Now it’s time to start setting this up for my personal use. There is section for customize on the welcome screen:

04 - Customize section


I started by adding Extensions. There are multiple places you can find the Extensions – an icon on the side or from the Settings icon or the view Menu. I knew there were a lot of Extensions, but seeing the list is quite different. If you want the full list, see Microsoft’s Github wiki page.

05 - Extensions

I did a quick Google search to see which extensions people recommend. Some searching led me to this post by Buck Woody, which has a list of what he uses the most. David Bland has several posts about his set up as well. Microsoft has green stars in the corner of the Extensions they recommend.

Where do I want to start? I decided to start by adding these:

06 - Installed Extensions

I’ll definitely be adding more in the future. For some reason, I’m a little nervous for some of the ones that are still in preview. But I know I will keep an eye out for when they’re ready.

Not all extensions automatically install. The Demo Mode was one of those. When I clicked on Install, it brought me to the GitHub page where I followed the directions to install:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Now that I have some extensions set up, I took a look at the Keyboard Shortcuts. NOTE – there is an extension for porting over the popular SSMS shortcuts over. I didn’t pull that over yet.

15 - Keyboard shortcuts - All
Keyboard Shortcuts

You can do a search to narrow down the results if you are feeling overwhelmed:

16 - keyboard shortcuts search
Searching for F5

I didn’t do too much here. Once I start playing more, I’ll figure what else to add – whether customize myself or add an extension. But this seems like a great reference as I’m learning everything.

Color Theme

The last thing I wanted to do was set up the Color theme. I am one of the rare techies who doesn’t like working on a black background by default, but I thought I’d play around to see what I liked. You can use the Up/Down arrows to get the preview. For example:

17 - color theme
Previewing the Abyss theme

I’m a light theme person so I think I’ll stick with the default for right now.

Now to start playing…

There’s going to be a lot more to learn about this tool as I start using this but I’m looking forward to it. I’d love to hear if you have started using this yet and what your suggestions for setting up my environment are.


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