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.