SSMS 20 - What's new

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SSMS 20 - What's new

By Devart
May 25, 2024
2 minutes

Sure enough, the latest incarnation of SQL Server Management Studio, version 20.x, is more about evolution than revolution (you can download it here, by the way). And if you haven't gotten acquainted with it yet, here's a brief recap of the newly introduced features and enhancements that you can already get your hands on. We'll also tell you about a surefire way of powering up your stock SSMS with a bundle of add-ins called dbForge SQL Tools, which brings SSMS to the levels of the most demanding users.

The release of SSMS 20.0 introduced several key updates:

  • The main sign-in page of the Connection dialog features new connection security properties, Encryption and Trust Server Certificate.
  • There is one more new property, called Host Name in Certificate and used alongside the Strict (SQL Server 2022 and Azure SQL) and Mandatory Encryption options. You can find it on the Login page of the same Connection dialog.
  • New icons on the Query Editor status bar now indicate the encryption method applied to the connection.
  • The New Login wizard now features Microsoft Entra ID authentication.
  • Microsoft.Data.SqlClient was updated to version 5.1.4; now it supports Strict encryption and the latest version of Transport Layer Security, 1.3.
  • Server Management Objects (SMO) were updated to version 171.30.0.
  • DacFx was updated to version 162.1.x.
  • Finally, there is a new option, Trust server certificate for imported connections, accessible from Tools > Options > SQL Server Object Explorer > Commands (you'll find it under Connection security).

That release was followed by SSMS 20.1, which unveiled further updates:

  • SSMS received support for the latest driver versions for MSODBCSQL.MSI ( and MSOLEDBSQL.MSI (18.7.2), requiring a reboot for users of older driver versions after the installation of SSMS 20.1.
  • There was a further update of Microsoft.Data.SqlClient to version 5.1.5.
  • Server Management Objects (SMO) also saw yet another new version, 171.31.0.
  • Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable was updated to version 14.38.33135.0, also requiring a reboot after the installation of the new SSMS.
  • Object Explorer now displays table names prefixed with corresponding schemas in Graph edge constraint connections.
  • Finally, Microsoft added support for the DEFAULT_DATABASE option in the CREATE LOGIN T-SQL syntax (when used alongside EXTERNAL PROVIDER) and support for NATIVE_COMPILATION and SCHEMABINDING options in the CREATE TRIGGER T-SQL syntax.

Traditionally, you can install and run SSMS 20.x alongside earlier versions (e.g., 19.x, 18.x, and so on) and check all of these features in action. And if you've been looking to expand the capabilities of SSMS with new features, we suggest you take a look at dbForge SQL Tools, a collection of 15 apps and add-ins that will definitely level up your routine development, management, and administration of SQL Server databases.

The key functionality of each tool from the bundle is as follows:

  • SQL Complete - context-sensitive SQL code completion, formatting, debugging, and refactoring
  • Source Control- version control of SQL Server schemas and static data with support for the most popular version control systems
  • Unit Test - implementation of tSQLt-powered unit tests with possible automation
  • Schema Compare - identification of differences in SQL Server schemas with subsequent synchronization
  • Data Compare - identification of differences in SQL Server table data with subsequent synchronization
  • Data Generator - generation of realistic dummy data for database testing
  • Documenter - creation of exhaustive database documentation
  • Data Pump - highly customizable import and export of data that supports 14 formats in total
  • Index Manager - effective defragmentation of indexes in SQL Server
  • Query Builder - visual construction of queries of any complexity without coding
  • Search - quick search for database objects and actual data
  • Monitor - examination of SQL Server performance in real time
  • Event Profiler - collection and analysis of SQL Server trace data
  • SQL Decryptor - decryption of encrypted stored routines, views, functions, and triggers
  • DevOps Automation - automation of database development through the integration of SQL Tools into a single DevOps toolchain

Some of these tools are standalone apps, some are add-ins for SSMS. The add-ins can be instantly accessed from the SSMS menu or from Object Explorer.

If you're new to dbForge SQL Tools, and if we've sparked your interest, you can easily download the entire bundle for a free 30-day trial. Give them a go—you might discover a perfect toolset to match your requirements and reinvent your daily work with SQL Server.