What is SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)?

Applies to: SQL Server Azure SQL Database Azure SQL Managed Instance Azure Synapse Analytics

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is an integrated environment for managing any SQL infrastructure. Use SSMS to access, configure, manage, administer, and develop all components of SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Managed Instance, SQL Server on Azure VM, and Azure Synapse Analytics. SSMS provides a single comprehensive utility that combines a broad group of graphical tools with many rich script editors to provide access to SQL Server for developers and database administrators of all skill levels.

Screenshot of SQL Server Management Studio.

SQL Server Management Studio components

Description Component
Use Object Explorer to view and manage all of the objects in one or more instances of SQL Server. Object Explorer
Use Template Explorer to build and manage files of boilerplate text that you use to speed the development of queries and scripts. Template Explorer
Use the deprecated Solution Explorer to build projects used to manage administration items such as scripts and queries. Solution Explorer
Use the visual design tools included in Management Studio to build queries, tables, and diagram databases. Visual Database Tools
Use the Management Studio language editors to interactively build and debug queries and scripts. Query and Text Editors

SQL Server Management Studio for business intelligence

To access, configure, manage, and administer Analysis Services, Integration Services, and Reporting Services, use SSMS. Although all three business intelligence technologies rely on SSMS, the administrative tasks associated with each of these technologies are slightly different.


To create and modify Analysis Services, Reporting Services, and Integration Services solutions, use SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), not SSMS. SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is a development environment that is based on MicrosoftVisual Studio.

Manage Analysis Services solutions using SQL Server Management Studio

SSMS enables you to manage Analysis Services objects, such as performing back-ups and processing objects.

Management Studio provides an Analysis Services Script project in which you develop and save scripts written in Multidimensional Expressions (MDX), Data Mining Extensions (DMX), and XML for Analysis (XMLA). You use Analysis Services Scripts projects to perform management tasks or re-create objects, such as database and cubes, on Analysis Services instances. For example, you can develop an XMLA script in an Analysis Services Script project that creates new objects directly on an existing Analysis Services instance. The Analysis Services Scripts projects can be saved as part of a solution and integrated with source code control.

For more information about how to use SSMS, see Developing and Implementing Using SQL Server Management Studio.

Manage Integration Services solutions using SQL Server Management Studio

SSMS enables you to use the Integration Services service to manage packages and monitor running packages. You can also use Management Studio to organize packages into folders, run packages, import and export packages, migrate Data Transformation Services (DTS) packages, and upgrade Integration Services packages.

Manage Reporting Services projects using SQL Server Management Studio

Use SSMS to enable Reporting Services features, administer the server and databases, and manage roles and jobs.

You manage shared schedules by using the Shared Schedules folder, and manage report server databases (ReportServer, ReportServerTempDB). You also create a RSExecRole in the master system database when you move a report server database to a new or different Database Engine. For more information about these tasks, see the following articles:

You also manage the server by enabling and configuring various features, setting server defaults, and managing roles and jobs. For more information about these tasks, see the following articles:

Non-English language versions of SQL Server Management Studio

The block on mixed languages setup has been lifted. You can install SSMS German on a French Windows. If the OS language doesn't match the SSMS language, the user needs to change the language under Tools > Options > International Settings. Otherwise, SSMS shows the English UI.

For more information about different locale with previous versions, reference Install non-English language versions of SSMS.

Support policy for SSMS

Cross-platform tool

SSMS runs on Windows (AMD or Intel) only. If you need a tool that runs on platforms other than Windows, take a look at Azure Data Studio. Azure Data Studio is a cross-platform tool that runs on macOS, Linux, as well as Windows. For details, see Azure Data Studio.

Get help

Contribute to SQL documentation

Did you know that you can edit SQL content yourself? If you do so, not only do you help improve our documentation, but you also get credited as a contributor to the page.

For more information, see How to contribute to SQL Server documentation

Next steps

For more information about SSMS, common tasks, and related tools, see the following articles: