A million reasons DBAs should test vendor tools

I found an interesting article By Steve Jones: One Million Tables

The TSQL scripts in the article by Jones creates a database with one million tables. Jones also has a Powershell script to do the data inserts. Jones states that SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) Object Explorer choked on that many tables. Other than SSMS Object Explorer, other SSMS functions seemed to work as expected according to Jones. He states at the end of the article ‘I thought it was a fun experiment…’.

The Jones article perked my interest because it reminded me that so many commercial SQL Server vendor tools choke on much smaller SQL Server databases. Many of the vendor tools, I tested over the years could barely handle thousands of tables, columns or databases let alone one million. Many SQL Server vendor tools would just spin endlessly when a limit was reached. Other vendor tools would pop up messages like ‘We only support xxx objects’. Of course, that critical detail was usually found out long after the vendor tool was purchased.

Moral: Build a great test database for vendor tools besides testing against your current production databases. By finding out the actual vendor tool limits, you can determine how quickly your current production data may exceed the vendor tool limits. You may be surprised that your preferred vendor tool fails your tests sooner than expected.