SQL Sentry Plan Explorer : New release and an SSMS add-in
Today we released a new build of SQL Sentry Plan Explorer. The build # is 6.2.34 and you can download it from the usual location.
Plan Explorer Changes
The updates in this release include the following:
- A new "Check for Updates" feature accessible via the Help menu:
- Other new additions to the Help menu:
- Enable/disable the Check for Updates on Startup option
- Enable/disable the warning message box when generating an actual plan
- Plan diagram tooltips now indicate whether the operation is ordered:
- There is a new theme in place for all grids, more consistent in both appearance and functionality with the grids in Event Manager / Performance Advisor.
- We've added support for a new Management Studio add-in (see below).
- Various fixes as outlined in the change list.
SQL Server Management Studio Add-In
In addition to an updated version of Plan Explorer, we have also released a free add-in for SQL Server Management Studio. What this does is allow you to launch an execution plan directly into Plan Explorer from within SSMS. To get this functionality:
- Download and install the latest version of SQL Sentry Plan Explorer from the following page:
- Shut down all instances of Management Studio (note that the Visual Studio-integrated version of SSMS that ships with the Denali CTPs is not supported at this time, due to changes in the add-in model).
- Download and install the SQL Sentry Plan Explorer Management Studio Add-In, also from the following page:
- Generate an actual or estimated plan in Management Studio, then right-click anywhere in the plan. You will see a new menu item entitled, "View with SQL Sentry Plan Explorer":
This will launch Plan Explorer with your plan(s) in view and with the right connection context in place. This means that once you are in Plan Explorer, you can make changes to the query and generate new estimated or actual plans, and you won't need to fill in connection properties.
The first question I anticipate is, "Why isn't the add-in bundled as part of Plan Explorer's setup?" There are a couple of reasons. One is that not everybody using Plan Explorer will necessarily want to use the add-in. Another is that it requires SSMS to be shut down in order to replace the DLL. Since it is quite simple and not expected to be updated as frequently as Plan Explorer, the development team preferred a one-time install over disrupting the SSMS experience for each future version of Plan Explorer.
The next question I anticipate is, "When will the add-in support Denali?" I don't have an answer for this one just yet. But if you want some information about how much the add-in model has changed in the transition to a Visual Studio-based shell, you can ask @MladenPrajdic, the creator of SSMS Tools Pack. 🙂