Do you want IntelliSense to support SQL Server 2005?

Currently, the plans for IntelliSense are to support SQL Server 2008 *ONLY*… since it works against SQL Server 2005 in the February CTP, I was very surprised to learn that it is being dropped by RTM (and possibly by RC0).  This is mainly because of the time frame of the release and the difficulty of catering to multiple dialects (sometimes there are going to be false positives, and there are even possibilities that it will miss obvious issues).  You can read more about this issue at The W Blog.

Being that IntelliSense isn't even going to be complete when SQL Server 2008 ships (mostly just supporting SELECT operations), I could live with a disclaimer that says, when you are working against a downlevel version, it is not always going to be 100% accurate.  Could you?  If so, I urge you to cast your vote on Connect (at publish time, only 11 people have voted):*/

Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at Simple Talk, SQLPerformance, and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him. If I've helped you out, consider thanking me with a coffee. :-)

14 Responses

  1. Sergii Lazurenko says:

    Thank you, Aaron! It was interesting to reed, but I want to add couple words about Intellisense. MS Native Intellisense is a free so it makes sense to use it. But we also can find some free or cheep tools. For example SQL Assist or dbForge SQL Complete:

  2. David Walker says:

    … I meant "in spite of what Eric [Kang] told Whitney Weaver", not you…

  3. David Walker says:

    As I posted over on the Connect item, it doesn't bother me that some of the Intellisense items are not 100% accurate when you're connected to a SQL 2005 instance.
    In spite of what Eric told you, Microsoft doesn't HAVE to implement a full lexical parser for SQL 2005 and SQL 2000 in order to allow Intellisense to work in SSMS 2008 when connected to those versions.  I was very happy with CTP6 and Intellisense, connected to SQL 2005 databases, even though there were a few small quirks.  
    I filed a few (valid) bugs on Connect against Intellisense, but now I can't test it any more, since I was using the SQL 2008 client tools in real development work in order to properly evaluate it.
    I wonder if someone can come up with a patch to bypass the version check on the target server instance…

  4. Jeff says:

    I had a chance over the weekend to install an RC0 instance and it seems that the collapsing went the way of the intellisense. I just hope the MS decides to tell us "Here are the new tools, but if you are on an 05 server, use at your own risk."
    Thanks Aaron.

  5. AaronBertrand says:

    I don't think this was a marketing decision.  Even with their history of blunders, they have to realize that SQL Server 2008 is not going to replace 2005 en masse, and that orgs won't perform massive rolling upgrades simply because their devs will get to use IntelliSense on their desktops.  Based on the conversations I've had the code path was just too complex to have different parsing etc. for each version (and still make the ship date).  Hopefully this won't be as much as an afterthought for future versions (e.g. the 2011 tools better support 2008).
    I am not sure about the code collapsing issue.  I am on a MacBook, sitting on a runway in bad weather, and will have to check in later when I have access to an RC0 instance.  πŸ™‚

  6. Jeff says:

    I voted 5 stars on Intellisense.
    What about the ability to collapse code? Did they take that out too? It isn't working and I've checked every "Options" menu I can think of. Again, this was a feature that could be used on @k5 databases and was already in the Feb CTP.
    Is this more to help the marketing folks out when it comes time to sell SQL Server 2008?

  7. Jason Kohlhoff says:

    What about support for SQL Server 2008 databases set to 90 compatibility level?  Seems to me that it makes more sense just to leave intellisense turned on.
    Also – Will SSMS Express 2008 support intellisense?

  8. AaronBertrand says:

    Well, I'm not necessarily saying that RG is bad or that people shouldn't buy it.  If there are features that it has (code formatting, for example) that are valuable, then it is likely better than just relying on the built-in.  And you're right, if you're already purchasing the bundle, it's a nice bonus.
    However, my concern is that the native version for 2008, at least initially, will be in some ways ahead of what RG can do against 2008.  And it would be silly to have to enable the RG snap-in when you are working against 2005 (in the case that native 2005 support is simply disabled), but would rather use the native options to develop against 2008.

  9. jerryhung says:

    I voted 5-star on Connect, I would love to see IntelliSense any day anytime
    I always envy our .Net developer when they get IntelliSense in VS2008 πŸ™‚
    If MS can have it, AWESOME; I just won't be holding my breath, and won't get too excited about the 1st cut πŸ˜‰
    True, RG isn't cheap, but I see its value now (plus we bought the Toolbelt bundle for SQL Compare mostly, and SQL Prompt/Refactor came with it)

  10. Alexander Kuznetsov says:

    Aaron, I agree with you – your suggestion makes sense.

  11. AaronBertrand says:

    Thanks Jerry.
    Since we're getting IntelliSense shipped for free in SQL Server 2008, do you actually have an objection to it supporting SQL Server 2005 (even if not 100%)?  Or is it kind of like you're indifferent to the new Honda Accord because you just bought a Toyota Camry?
    I'm a fan of Red Gate's tools of course, but not everybody has the budget to buy a copy, never mind a copy for every machine they work on… with SQL Server 2008, they will get built-in IntelliSense for free on all copies of SSMS.
    Frankly I think there will need to be some value-add for SQL Prompt sales to continue to be as strong as they are.  In that sense, Red Gate certainly has reason to object to native downlevel support.  πŸ™‚

  12. jerryhung says:

    I'll probably rely on Red Gate SQL Prompt, instead of waiting on MS IntelliSense.
    RG's support is amazing – responds quickly, fixes the problem efficiently, and listens to customers πŸ™‚

  13. AaronBertrand says:

    Alex, I don't think that there are any database engine features that could be obtained in trade for not implementing downlevel IntelliSense – the feature set is already final.  In fact, it is going to be more work for them to *add* code to turn it off downlevel.  I am merely advocating that they leave it as is, and put a disclaimer in the documentation that states that downlevel isn't perfect.

  14. Alexander Kuznetsov says:

    Hi Aaron,
    Currently I am using IntelliSense from another vendor and that's fine with me. I would very much rather that Microsoft implemented more  database engine features – they cannot be provided by other vendors. Does it make sense to you?