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Easily Generate Table Change Scripts In SQL Server Management Studio

Something I found frustrating when designing databases, were the frequent changes made to tables. Managing the scripts can become quite tricky, especially if you are still in the design phase. This is made worse by code changes or change requests to existing data structures. Sometimes a person gets so caught up in the changes you need to make, that you forget about scripting these table changes. Here is a nice trick in SQL Server Management Studio to easily generate table change scripts. Never forget to script your changes again.

Easily Generate Table Change Scripts

In SQL Server Management Studio, select the Options sub-menu under Tools.

Easily Generate Table Change Scripts

In the Options dialogue, select the Designers node in the tree view on the left. Here you will find an option ‘Auto generate change scripts’. Ensure that you check this option and click on OK.

Easily Generate Table Change Scripts

Head on over to one of your existing tables and change something (eg. the column data type) from the table designer. When you save the changes, SQL Server Management Studio will prompt you to save the change script. Just take note that if you uncheck the option ‘Automatically generate change script on every save’, then you effectively switch off the option you enabled from the Options screen above. You will need to re-enable this from the options. Also remember that deleting tables from the database is also not covered by change scripts. Probably because this isn’t a table change. πŸ™‚

Easily Generate Table Change Scripts

SQL Server Management Studio can streamline so many manual tasks. It is just up to us to go and discover these hidden gems that make a developer’s life so much easier. If you have any tips to share, let us know in the comments.

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Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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  • gardoglee

    Nice. Thanks for posting.

  • rodrigo2

    Hi, most developers don’t use designer to make change to their objects. Do you know of an option that would save the change script but by using the Alter To ->New Query Editor Window?

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