Maximize Your Productivity with these Top Azure Data Studio Extensions

Last week, we took an introductory look at Azure Data Studio. If you haven’t read that one yet, you can check it out, here. If you’ve been an ardent SQL Server Management Studio user, Azure Data Studio may feel a bit lacking in features. However, note that ADS employs the same extensibility model that VS Code uses, allowing both Microsoft and third-party developers to bring additional features to the product in the way of extensions. At the time of this writing (Feb 2023), the ADS Extensions marketplace is still a bit sparse with only around 70 extensions (compare that to 43,000 extensions for VS Code). However, there are still a few gems in here that I wanted to feature in this episode. Hopefully, they’ll enhance your workflows when using ADS.

Admin Pack for SQL Server

An official offering from Microsoft, this is actually an Extension Pack – a collection of extensions. This pack consists of four different extensions:

  • SQL Server Agent: This provides the same administrative features that you find in the SQL Server Agent in SSMS, allowing you to get a listing of jobs setup in SQL Server; ability to start and stop jobs; ability to view history of prior executions.
  • SQL Server Profiler: This is one of those must-have features when it comes to administering a database and I’m thrilled that it has made its way into ADS. If you’re unfamiliar, Profiler allows you to trace the operations against your SQL Server, providing you an invaluable way of troubleshooting. It can help you isolate problematic queries, trace through a sequence of events that may be causing a bug, locate performance issues or other problems.
  • SQL Server Import: Allows you to take flat files (.csv, .txt) and import them into tables.
  • SQL Server dacpac: Microsoft’s database deployment solution, dacpac, is now supported in ADS. If you’re unfamiliar with this technology, it allows you to package up your database objects such as tables, stored procedures, constraints, etc. and create an artifact for deployment elsewhere. Bacpacs (which includes both schema and data) are also supported.

Database Administration Tool Extensions for Windows

This is sort of a cheat because while ADS is a cross-platform tool that works on Windows, Mac and Linux, this extension only works on Windows. It is simply hot-linking (for the lack of a better term) features in SSMS such as the Generate Scripts Wizard and the property dialogs that you find in SSMS for select database objects. I imagine that these will be redone properly so that they are accessible from other platforms.

SQL Server Schema Compare

Allows you to do a side-by-side comparison of two SQL Server instances. This can serve as a troubleshooting tool or can help you in prepping your deployments. P.S. Visual Studio (on Windows) has had this feature for quite a long time now.

Server Reports

While not as extensive as the list of reports that you can generate in SSMS, these set of reports provide you a good overview of the overall health of your SQL Server. You can generate reports such as DB Space Usage, DB Buffer Usage, CPU Utilization, Backup Growth Trend and Wait counts.

Visual Studio IntelliCode

As the name clearly states, this is the same AI goodness that you get in Visual Studio, now available for ADS. It inspects your code and provides timely auto-completion suggestions as you’re typing, allowing you to simply TAB through to accept its recommendations.


This nifty tool provides some live-monitoring capabilities for your SQL Server instance. You can get a quick peek at active queries executing against your SQL Server to see if all is well or something is amiss.


Most of the extensions that I featured here are built by Microsoft, themselves. Generally speaking, they are polished and fit well into the ADS product. There are a handful or community-driven extensions that are promising but are not quite there yet. For instance, some of those extensions are built as vsix packages (similar to how extensions work in Visual Studio) and as such, must be installed separately (rather than simply clicking the install button within ADS).

These extensions listed here provided a good bit of additional functionality (for those using ADS for SQL Server) making the Azure Data Studio product worth a serious consideration.

Take these out for a spin. Let me know what I missed.

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