Digging Around For Free Tools – SQL Server
Tool Archaeology, Digging Through The Web
About every three to six months I will burn some time and just go digging for tools. Mostly, I’m looking for stuff related to SQL Server, PowerShell or C# development. There are lots of places to search through that could yield your next life saving tool. All the major sites have a search feature but if you just put in SQL Server you will get a ton of hits that don’t have anything to do with SQL Server. I usually do something like “SQL Server” NOT MySQL NOT Postgresql NOT DB2 NOT Oracle to keep the other databases from cluttering up the results. The other thing that can be difficult is how to filter out projects that don’t have any code or are very old. Most will allow you to sort by downloads or ratings and this can be a good indicator. Lastly, some of the sites don’t really enforce descriptions or comments on the project. Sourceforge is real hit or miss while Codeplex is really good about project descriptions. This can mean the difference in just reading about it and having to dig into the project to get any relevant details. Most of the time, if there isn’t any kind of project description I will just pass them by.
Open source host has some stuff but doesn’t seem to be a big one for Microsoft or SQL Server. I actually had to
One of the largest hosts for open source software, again not big on Microsoft or SQL Server. What I have found is lots of stuff to help you connect SQL Server to other things like Python and Node.js
The grand daddy of them all. There is a HUGE amount of projects. Unfortunately, most of them have gone dormant. There are gems to be had here for sure if you are willing do dig for them.
The new hotness. The project mix is very good and they tend to be documented. Also, since GitHub isn’t that old you don’t have projects from the 90’s to filter out.
It’s a Microsoft world. You won’t find things like how to make SQL Server to work with X open source language or other tool but all of the projects have a description which is really nice.
I spend most of my time on GitHub, SourceForge and Codeplex. I host my projects on GitHub and Codeplex. As far as GitHub is concerned the reason I chose them is I LOVE git. GitHub is easy to use and robust. I also choose Codeplex mainly because if you are Microsoft focused this will be one of the first places to search. Also, now that Codeplex supports git it is much easier to use from a project point of view.
Next we will take a look at some of the projects on each of them to give you an idea on what you can find if you dig hard enough!