How to enable Query Designer for SQL Server in Visual Studio

As strange as it might be, my next post is going to be about how to get the query designer working in Visual Studio.


So first you need Visual Studio of course :-). If you want to use the Query Designer and click through the boxes to create a query, here are the steps you need to take, so it works as you expect.

  1. In the Server explorer create a new connection

VS - Query Designer 0

  1. You see the following window:

VS - Query Designer 1

  1. Then Change the data source – it is really important that you choose Microsoft SQL Server and as Data provider – .NET Framework Data Provider for OLE DB (yes, you need OLE DB, because with the native SQL Server provider, the query designer just won’t work).

VS - Query Designer 2

After you define your connection to the database in that manner, all new queries, that you start, will be using the Query Designer framework (the well-known MS Access-like area :) ).

My personal opinion on that one is that I would always go for the SQL Server native provider. It simply provides me the experience I am used to with SSMS – you do not need to click in order to create a query. After all Microsoft put enough effort in this querying functionality in Visual Studio that it does not really make sense to go back in time with the SQLX query designer. But again – this is just my humble and personal opinion :-)

Cheers and enjoy your databases with Visual Stuido!

3 Replies to “How to enable Query Designer for SQL Server in Visual Studio”

  1. is there a way to can you use the query designer – with PDW (APS) – SQL Server 2016

    when I select “.net framework data provider for OLE DB” it does not appear to connect

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