From previous posting, we demonstrated a way to use custom color coding using SQL Server Management Studio’s (SSMS) Registered Servers properties. But using the feature can be very dangerous if you don’t have the discipline to follow a strict process of opening new query from the registered servers pane. For example, if you use Change Connection button, the color will stay the same as the last environment you were connected to the first time via the registered server panel.
That’s where SSMS Tools Pack comes in handy. Don’t get it wrong, this SSMS add-on software is more than just a connection color coding tool, but to add on from our last posting, you can do connection color coding quite easily by using its Window Connection Coloring feature.
The tool is free for SSMS 2008 or earlier. You only have to pay when use version 2012 or higher.
So here are the steps to use color connection with SSMS Tools Pack:
After you installed the tool, you should see it displayed on your SSMS’ menu (SSMS Tools). Click on it and select Window Connection Coloring, then Options…
This part is self-explanatory:
First, you may want to increase the thickness (in pixels) of the colored bar that will be displayed. I found the default a bit too thin for my taste.
Unlike default SSMS custom color, with SSMS Tools Pack you can choose where you want the bar displayed on either one of the four sides of your query window.
Click on the color bar to pick your custom color. Click OK twice when done.
That’s all there is to it. And here’s how it looks like after it’s done.
Note: What’s displayed here is a combination of SSMS’ own default custom color on the bottom bar and SSMS Tools Pack’s color bar on the top. I personally like this setup as it’s harder to miss and where the two color disagree, I know the one from SSMS Tools Pack (top bar) is the one to follow.