Installing Extensions to Azure Data Studio

If you’re even thinking about experimenting with, let alone actively using, Azure Data Studio, you need to plan on installing a few extensions. Buck Woody has a great list that you should look through in this blog post. If you’re just getting started with Azure Data Studio, I have an introduction here.

Depending on the extension, this could be a simple as a mouse click. However, not all the extensions are that easy. Let’s explore this just a little so when you do start using Azure Data Studio, things are easy.

Extension From a Mouse Click

For this bit of the blog post, we’ll stick to nothing but mouse clicks, but, if you really want to bring the power within Azure Data Studio, you really need to learn keyboard shortcuts (especially CTL-SHIFT-P). Over on the left of the screen, you should see a square icon that looks something like this, highlighted in white:

Clicking on that will open your extensions window. If you already have extensions installed, as you can see four of mine, you’ll see them listed there. Otherwise, you’ll see a list of extensions that can install that will look something like this:

If we take an example, say, SQL Server Profiler, all you have to do is click the little green, enticing, “Install” command (for more on SQL Server Profiler, check out this video). This extension will immediately install. The right side of the screen will change to a description about the extension, how it works, how to use it, etc., and, you’ll see this on the left:

That’s the extension installed and ready to be used. You just have to Reload Azure Data Studio to see it. Click that button and the screen resets and you’ll find that the extension has moved from the MarketPlace to Enabled at the top.

It’s that easy.

Install *.vsix

Some of the extensions won’t do a simple install by clicking a mouse. Instead, clicking on the install will take you to a web page, either a vendor page (such as with Redgate SQL Search) or to the Visual Studio Code MarketPlace (such as with PowerShell). There, you need to download the *.vsix file (however enticing that Install button on the MarketPlace browser window is, look over on the right for the download button).

Once the *.vsix file is downloaded, you just have to run the “Install from *.vsix” command. The easy way (if you ask me), is to type CTL-SHIFT-P. This opens the command window in Azure Data Studio. Then, type ‘inst’ and you should see this:

You might have to scroll a little bit to find it, but it’ll be there. Clicking on it will open an explorer window (in Windows, whatever the equivalent is in Unix/MacOS). Find the *.vsix file you downloaded and the install will occur. You’ll still get the Reload command in the gui. You can click that or, again use CTL-SHIFT-P, type “rel” and select “Reload Window” from the list.

It’s that easy.

You can also click on the ellipsis when you have the Extensions window open. That opens a context menu that includes “Install from *.VSIX…” among it’s choices.

Conclusion

I’m enjoying using Azure Data Studio. I’m enjoying it more and more as I use it. However, what makes it really rock is adding extensions. Since those extensions go beyond SQL Server, you can have a single coding environment to write T-SQL and write PowerShell and write R and write… well, search through them and find out. Installing them is easy now that you know all the tricks.


I teach an all day seminar on query performance tuning tools in SQL Server. I’m going to be adding some information on Azure Data Studio. To see all the rest of the tools I cover, follow one of these links. Let’s get together and share information:

Training Day, SQLBits, February 28, 2019, Manchester, UK
SQL Day, May 13, 2019, Wroclaw, Poland
SQLSaturday Columbus Precon, June 7 2019, Columbus OH

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