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I need to view the tables and data in a MSSQL 2008 DB.

What is the easiest way to connect to it and view the schema and data?

I have Visual Studio 2008 Team System, is there a tool built in to that. Or is there something else I need to use?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

SQL Server comes with "SQL Server Management Studio", which lets you view the schema, data, users, execute queries, do profiling, etc.

You can do an installation on your VS machine with just the SQL server client/workstation components. Kendal Van Dyke has a blog post that will walk you through it.

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I can't remember if Team Studio includes SQL Management Studio. If it doesn't and if you don't have access to the SQL Server install media then use Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express, which is a free download from

This seems to one of those well kept secrets. Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express isn't as powerful as the full Management Studio but it's a very useful tool and will manage SQL 2005 and 2000 as well as 2008.


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SQl server mangement studio has the ability to generate database diagrams. Click on a database in object explorer and then click on the database diagram folder.

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