Michael J. Swart

May 31, 2016

Some Thoughts On Logos

Filed under: Miscelleaneous SQL,SQLServerPedia Syndication — Michael J. Swart @ 10:28 am

So today is the last Tuesday in May which means that next Tuesday is the first Tuesday in June. On that day, you can expect me to invite all SQL bloggers to participate in June’s T-SQL Tuesday. So I’m thinking about my invite post: What will be the topic? What illustration will I include?

The T-SQL Tuesday Logo

When thinking about an illustration to include, I began to look more closely at the T-SQL Tuesday logo:

T-SQL Tuesday Logo

The logo includes a cylinder which is the standard way to represent a database (did you ever wonder why?). That’s what ties “T-SQL” to the logo.

But I want to point out something that not a lot of people notice. If you look really closely, you can see that the grid is actually a calendar for some month and the second Tuesday is highlighted. And that’s what ties “Tuesday” to the logo. Here, I’ll blow it up a bit:


But the resolution makes it hard to read or notice so as an exercise (and for my invite post illustration), I recreated the logo:


Another Take on the Logo

I happen to sit near some really cool graphics designers. And after some discussions about what makes a good logo, I came up with

Now don’t get too excited, it’s definitely not Machanic-approved. And I won’t be using this logo, it’s just an exercise.
But here are some of my thoughts.

  • It gets away from gradients which is a recent trend in logos and I keep it as uncomplicated as possible.
  • I stuck with blue (or Cyan actually). Microsoft seems to do that with Azure for example and there’s no sense in changing that.
  • I dropped the tie with Tuesday. When I think of T-SQL Tuesday, I think of databases and blogging, not the day of the week.
  • It’s meant to remind you of ERDs. Join diagrams are such a visual thing already and they’re closer to what we deal with on a day to day basis rather than the stereotypical cylinder.

So… watch for the invite post in one week!

May 30, 2016

One SSMS Improvement You Might Have Missed

Filed under: Miscelleaneous SQL,SQLServerPedia Syndication,Technical Articles — Michael J. Swart @ 2:36 pm

Takeaway: Undocked query windows in SSMS are now top-level windows.

SSMS Release Cycle

As you may know, SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) now has its own release cycle independent of SQL Server’s release cycle. This means the Microsoft team who work on SSMS now get to release as often as they like. And it looks like they are. In fact it looks like they’ve released five times so far in 2016.

Many of the changes are small changes, and many of them don’t impact me, but I noticed one cool change that I’d like to draw more attention to.

Undocked Query Windows are Spiffier

The March 2016 Refresh (13.0.13000.55 Changelog) updates SSMS to use the new Visual Studio 2015 shell. Part of that change means that undocked windows are now top-level windows.

Top level windows are windows without parents so the undocked window is not a child window of the main SSMS window (but it is part of the same process). And so it gets its own space in the task bar, and participates in alt+tab when you switch between windows.

Also these undocked windows can be a collection of query windows. Compare the new style with the old style.

Old Style, limit of one query window:


New Style, many query windows:


If you’re a multitasking Developer or DBA who works with SSMS a lot, I think you’ll like this new feature. Undocked query windows now feel like real windows.

Remember SSMS is free (even though SQL Server is not). If you want to download the latest version of SSMS, you can do that here.

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