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Database Servers and Client Tools Survey

Database Servers and Client Tools Survey

Survey Check Box with Green Checkmark and PencilLast week I was reminded that opinions are split as to whether or not installing the database client tools (SSMS, Database Control, etc.) onto database servers is a good idea or not.

I’ve worked at companies where the installation of such tools was discouraged. I’ve also known companies where the installation of tools is mandatory. While some companies feel it is a security risk to have the tools installed for other companies it is a security risk to allow for remote access. There are also some folks that just can’t be a DBA without a GUI. It would seem that there is no right answer, just a big old “it depends”.

What spurred this on for me were the comments to my recent post about how to administer an instance of SQL 2012 running on Windows Server Core.

I decided to put together a quick survey to collect some data about this topic. It should take less than five minutes to complete. If you could spare the time to participate I would be quite grateful.

This is by no means a scientific survey. I’m just curious to know more about the people who fall into one camp or another. For example, do Oracle DBAs not worry as much about the client tools being locally installed? Do those folks identified as Business Analysts have a strong correlation to needing a GUI? I don’t know.

I figured this survey might be a good way to find out.

I will leave the survey open for a week or so before I try to examine the results.

Thanks in advance!


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  • Robert Miller

    The survey does not indicate a difference between development and production servers, so it was answered from the aspect of a development server.

    • ThomasLaRock

      Correct, I intentionally left that distinction out. I’m interested in the rules that get applied to all servers, not just production.

      A development server is a production server to a developer. Some shops keep a tight watch on their test/QA servers. Other shops focus solely on production. I couldn’t think of an easy enough way to add extra question in to distinguish environments and have it tied to tools and platforms.

      Maybe I can do this again in a year or so and think of the questions in a different way.

      Oh, and THANK YOU for taking the time to answer!

  • Dirk Hondong

    Normally I would say it is not needed to install client tools. But often enough people who support a program aren’t aware of the fact that they can remote connect to a database server with SSMS or any query tool and do not need to remote desktop onto the system (and drain additional resources…)
    Sometimes it is hard to teach the people to change their working behaviour.

    Looking forward to the results.

    Regards Dirk

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