SQL Server Management Studio 20 Removes Azure Data Studio From The Installer

Odd Couple

I was quite publicly mystified by the coupling of Azure Data Studio into the SQL Server Management Studio installer. They’re different tools for different people.

This isn’t a tirade against Azure Data Studio, nor is it a victory lap since apparently the feedback item I posted was part of the decision to remove it.

This is purely informational, since the announcement that it’s not in there anymore is nearly as quiet as the announcement that it was being included back in SQL Server Management Studio 18.7, and only slightly louder than the availability of a command line switch to skip installing it.

Back when I initially complained about the inability to skip installing Azure Data Studio, there was a lot of talk about how SQL Server Management Studio would increasingly rely on it for new functionality. I suppose that was either untrue, or the roadmap changed significantly.

Quite cynically, I thought it was a cheap way to increase the install base of a new product, but who knows? I assume Microsoft has better telemetry about usage than binaries just existing. Again, who knows?

A further miffance was that you could download and install Azure Data Studio independently, but not SQL Server Management Studio.

If you read through Erin Stellato’s post about the SQL Server Management Studio roadmap, where version 20 was fully released:

For SSMS 20 we have removed Azure Data Studio from the installation.  In addition to being a highly voted item (Make ADS An Optional Install Alongside SSMS · Community (azure.com)), this aligns with the future extension work for SSMS 21 and we decided to make the change in the current release.

So, hooray! Dreams do come true, etc. When I was but a young boy, I dreamed that someday my desires would be aligned with future extension work for SSMS.

I’d also like to say here that being the public face of SQL Server Management Studio makes Erin Stellato about the bravest soul I know. It’s a tool that millions of people rely on, and nearly everyone actively complains about. Part of my RSS feed is not only posts from Microsoft about data platform related stuff, but also the comment feed. She has saintly patience in her responses to the comments on these things. Comments on the internet maintain their position and title as the worst things on earth. Erin deserves infinite credit for doing the job that she does as well as she does it.

If you’re keen on moving to SQL Server Management Studio 20, you can download it here.

If you’re still stuck using older versions because of a new bug or an old feature, you can skip installing Azure Data Studio by running the installer via the command prompt:

SSMS-Setup-ENU.exe /Passive DoNotInstallAzureDataStudio=1

Thanks for reading!

Going Further

If this is the kind of SQL Server stuff you love learning about, you’ll love my training. I’m offering a 75% discount to my blog readers if you click from here. I’m also available for consulting if you just don’t have time for that, and need to solve database performance problems quickly. You can also get a quick, low cost health check with no phone time required.

9 thoughts on “SQL Server Management Studio 20 Removes Azure Data Studio From The Installer

  1. Thanks Erik!

    I had skimmed the version 20 article, and missed the part where they stopped including azure data studio. Woohoo!

    And thanks for putting in the feedback item to being with!

  2. Having set up a new personal laptop for the first time in about fifteen years the other day, I noticed this too. Didn’t realise you were the one that spearheaded the WTF brigade. Thank you very much, and kudos to Erin too. You can feel the waves of diplomacy through that post 🙂

    1. Ha ha, well I do like Erin quite a bit. She’s a great person, and the blogging she did for many years helped me get where I am.

      I don’t want my criticism of product choices to come off as personal, or to appear to diminish that respect in any way. From a distance, it can be hard to separate the two.

      Anyway, I am happy with the decision, but I don’t feel like I “won” some grudge match. Perhaps it’s all leading to Visual Studio eating both products alive, heh.

      1. Don’t worry, I think I read you pretty well and you come across as what you are, an honest person just doing the thing.

        I didn’t track or follow any kind of grudge match about ADS in SSMS by the way, it’s just one of those things that made me cock my head at the time, I looked into ways to disable it but personally ended up rolling with whatever the installers did because I was looking at Jupyter notebooks stuff for a friend.

Comments are closed.