The Top Feature Requests for SQL Server

SQL Server

If you want to get a look at where Microsoft SQL Server is heading in the future, it helps to get an idea of what users are repeatedly asking for. Here’s a quick rundown of the top requests from as voted by the people who cared enough to log in and upvote ’em:

10: Enable Query Store for collection on a read-only replica in an Availability Group: 563 votes

9. Add an SSMS keyboard shortcut that executes the statement where the cursor is placed: 589 votes

Of course I have a straight face under here, why do you ask?

8: Improve NoSQL functionality: 652 votes

7: Run DBCC CHECKDB with PHYSICAL_ONLY automatically in the background: 672 votes

6. Support DISTINCT for STRING_AGG: 717 votes

5. Add a row position column to STRING_SPLIT: 747 votes

4. Develop an SSRS ReportViewer for ASP.NET Core: 1,262 votes

3. Restore a table from backup: 1,347 votes

2. Dark theme for SSMS: 1,958 votes

1. Put the Debugger back into SSMS: 2,041 votes

When thousands of folks band together to ask for something, Microsoft hears your voice. They know it’s important to keep the end user community satisfied so folks will keep evangelizing the database they know and love. That’s why in every release, Microsoft keeps bringing crowd-pleasing game-changers like SQL Server Ledger, blockchain technology in the database that keeps your transaction log around forever inside the database. I’m pretty sure that one was #11 in the list above. Maybe #12.

That’s why it’s so important that you create feedback requests to reflect what you’re interested, take time to read the requests from other folks, and upvote the ones you’d like to see implemented. Microsoft believes that your votes should matter, and that’s why they show the list of feedback items sorted by votes. Your voice matters: check out Microsoft Feedback today.

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35 Comments. Leave new

  • Rob Pattyn
    May 5, 2022 1:35 pm

    Thanks for reminding that feedback exists. Upvoted the SSRS reportviewer core

  • I have mixed feelings about improving nosql in sql server. On one hand, its prevalence is starting to increase and SQL is being left behind. For document storage SQL server is just badly lacking. On the other hand, a lot of the draw I am seeing to nosql is coming from extremely bad ‘fullstack’ developers who don’t understand the pros and cons of either nosql or relational databases and choose nosql because of the lower barrier to entry even if it is a completely bad use for nosql. It would be a boon for good developers, and DBAs working with only good developers, but I fear it would be a massive headache for almost all DBAs who have to deal with all the devs of all skill levels in an organization.

  • Maurice Pelchat
    May 5, 2022 2:13 pm

    One missing feature is the DISTINCT option of the COUNT aggregate when used with OVER clause. This make feature set of COUNT aggregate + OVER clause more in line with SQL standard and it have very pratical uses that avoids the need of derived tables or apply that does distinct first, and the COUNT Distinct over the results.

    Itzik Ben-Gan pushed for that feature, and I often find it missing.

  • Maurice Pelchat
    May 5, 2022 2:19 pm

    I fully agree with Keith’s comment about NoSql. Many ‘full-stack’ programmers lack good basics about relational databases, and they are hoping to use NoSql not for what it is good for. But are we really sure that all these people who ask for better support of NoSql do not see the proper use of it in its own right?

  • Michael Paterek
    May 5, 2022 4:45 pm

    You can actually the the Dark Theme in SSMS by editing

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 18\Common7\IDE\ssms.pkundef and commenting out the last two lines:

    // Remove Dark theme

    Relaunch SSMS, go to Tools > Option and under Environment > General you’ll see the Dark theme now available.

  • ” Microsoft believes that your votes should matter, and that’s why they show the list of feedback items sorted by votes. ”

    And why they keep replacing feedback sites/forums every few years, almost like hide-and-seek.
    And why, historically, they mark even most of the most-popular as declined/will not fix/politely bugger off.

    It would be nice to once again be able to filter by engine/TSQL suggestions, UI tool suggestions, SSRS. And a checkbox just to specifically filter out “Dark theme for SSMS” 🙂

  • Anybody else find it a little bit amusing that the number 2 feature request is do have a different colored application? I think we’re officially spoiled! 🙂

    • I used to always make fun of people that asked for dark mode, but first thing in the morning or if you are working late on something, the regular is just a lot of eye strain now.

      • Oh, I use it some too. Just find it funny. Spent part of my youth TRaSh-80s, and other computers with amber or green monitors. We’ve come a long way!

    • (redacted)

      • Lanier Hall, personal attacks are not welcome here.

        I’ve removed your comment.

        I wouldn’t want people googling for Lanier Hall, like maybe Lanier Hall resume or Lanier Hall SQL Server, and then finding a comment like that, something that would cast you in such a negative light that you might lose a job opportunity for such personal attacks.

        You’re welcome, Lanier Hall.

  • The future is dark, debugged and full of ssrs reports. Where did I turn wrong?

  • “Bring back the debugger” – Good to see someone finally listening to my suggestions ?

  • Mark Freeman
    May 6, 2022 3:26 am

    The snark is strong with you today. Well done!

  • Scathing XD

    Worth noting that, for better or for worse, #5 is apparently already a thing in Azure SQL DB. I still think if they’re going to go allowing all this stringly-typed stuff to happen in the database then they should properly integrate and optimise .NET Core into the DB engine and work on suitable interfaces to let us use e.g. .Split(), .Join() and the Regex namespace in T-SQL.

    I’d much prefer they addressed something to do with databases though. Better error and transaction handling. Or overhauled SQL Agent. Or spent some time standardising things and names internally and across the various data teams (SQL Server, Agent, SSIS, SSRS, SSAS). Or got rid of the weird phase-shifting Registry emulator inside SQL Server. Maybe actually deprecated things properly rather than deprecating it in the documentation and having the T-SQL parser’s ultimate endpoint be to simply accept any input with return code 0.

    • Heh heh heh. I wondered if they were going to use the cloud migration as a time to overhaul Agent. For a while, the guidance was, “don’t use Agent, use Elastic Jobs instead,” but it’s been a hard sell to get people to change the tool they use.

  • Chris Knight
    May 6, 2022 9:27 am

    “9. Add an SSMS keyboard shortcut that executes the statement where the cursor is placed: 589 votes”

    I’ve been Shift+F5’in for years and didn’t realise I could only do this because I have a RedGate licence! Every day is a learning day. God bless RedGate.

  • Stephen Morris
    May 6, 2022 9:42 am

    Release a set of DMVs and system tables which specify the units, so that you know if you are dealing with bytes, kilobytes, megabytes or pages. ticks, microseconds, milliseconds or seconds etc.

  • I want multiple max degrees of parallelism, say MAX DOP1 = 2 for Cost > 20, then Max DOP2 = 4 for Cost > 50 etc.

    I Want Query store to work on secondaries in an AAG

    And I want SQL to be able to update an execution plan based on the statistics it reads on the parameters. I had an application at my previous place that would sometimes return one page of data, and sometimes return 500. The one page plans were more common than the 500 page plans and if you hit one of the 500 page search parameters using the 1 page plan, it would never complete, and inversely if your execution plan got built on one of the 500 page sets of filters, every time you ran a more typical search it would blow away tons of memory unless you recompiled the procedure every time.

  • Faiz Rahmathulla
    May 7, 2022 12:47 am

    I don’t understand why they removed simple debugger from SSMS and made it complicated. I vote for debugger back in SSMS.

  • low value feature that is in visual studio

  • Microsoft needs to finish the work on the dark theme. It’s been many years! Make SSMS use the latest Visual Studio shell. Visual Studio itself has a good dark theme. The dark theme from modifying the ssms.pkundef is unusable. The Object Explorer has dark text on dark background one can hardly see the menu options. The results grid still has a white background. If people think it’s a good dark theme then why doesn’t MS make it available? Because it’s still work in progress.

  • Better cycles true the table, use of cursors is very dreadful

  • Latish Sehgal
    May 23, 2022 8:03 pm

    Not the same as having it built in to SSMS, but #9 was the reason I created SqlSmash back in 2014 (one of the many free features).

  • At first glance “Improve NoSQL functionality: 652 votes” seems a bad idea, but the original request refers to improvements to XQuery functionality. As such I *agree* with this request because the current XQuery standards in SQL Server are about 18 years old and need updating. SQL Server has powerful support for the XML datatype so it should offer updated versions of the XML methods.

  • How is ROWTYPE (exists on oracle) for sql not part of this list?


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