Recommended application(s) to test SQL server 2008 Queries for application?

I am new to working with SQL databases (and databases in general) so I do not have a lot of experience with how queries work and how I can practice them. When I was first learning xml and XPath, I found XPath Visualizer incredibly helpful after someone on stack overflow mentioned it to me. Due to this, I am wondering if a similar tool exists for SQL databases? Basically a tool that will allow me to connect to a database, enter queries and see somehow what the results would be like.

I have looked online a bit, however I have found relatively few options in terms of any utility that would do what I want, and that looks reliable.

I will ultimately be writing an application to interact with an SQL 2008 server in, however for now I am just experimenting so I will know what I am doing when I actually want to create my application. So far I have managed to connect to the database using an OLE DB connection, but I am now looking for a way to experiement with queries without just querying and figuring out a way to interpret the results in my program. Basically I want to be able to remove the programming aspect of things so I can experiment with queries without needing to question anything in my code that is unrelated to the specific query. thanks in advance!


Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio seems to be exactly what you're looking for. I'm not sure how you're currently setting up your database, but since you're writing a VB.NET app I assume you'd like to stay in the Microsoft family. There's the express version. There's quite a few useful tools such as query visualization.

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