SQL Server Management Studio: Displaying and Filtering Objects

By Don Kiely | December 03, 2012

sql production schema


SQL Server Management Studio displays server and database information in Object Explorer, which presents information about database objects in a treeview. In addition to displaying SQL Server Database Engine objects, Object Explorer also displays Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Integration Services, and other objects. You can also use it to administer SQL Server Security, SQL Server Agent, Replication, and Database Mail. It provides you with deep insight into just about every corner of an instance of SQL Server and all its services.

The Object Explorer displays information in a hierarchical treeview for all servers to which it connects. It populates the treeview on demand when you expand a node. You can double-click a node to expand it, and click the Stop button to stop the expansion.

Displaying and Filtering Objects

Object Explorer can display up to 65,536 objects. If you want to view additional objects, you need to close some nodes or apply a filter to reduce the number of displayed objects. To filter the view, select the parent node that you want to filter, then right-click and choose Filter|Filter Settings. For example, in the Tables node you can filter by Name, Schema, Owner, or Creation Date and you can choose which operator to use for each, as shown in the Figure below for the AdventureWorks2012 database. Click OK to display only tables in the Production schema.

When you filter a list of items, Object Explorer displays that information in the node name, as shown in the Figure below. This way, you don't forget that it is filtered when you're looking for an object that the filter excluded.

filtered view in object explorer

To remove the filter, right-click the node where you applied the filter and choose Filter|Remove Filter. Now all the database tables again appear in the Tables node.

ldn-expertdkielyThis post is an excerpt from the online courseware for our SQL Server 2012: Configuring Management Studio course written by expert Don Kiely.

Don Kiely

Don Kiely is a featured instructor on many of our SQL Server and Visual Studio courses. He is a nationally recognized author, instructor, and consultant specializing in Microsoft technologies. Don has many years of teaching experience, is the author or co-author of several programming books, and has spoken at many industry conferences and user groups. In addition, Don is a consultant for a variety of companies that develop distributed applications for public and private organizations.

This blog entry was originally posted December 03, 2012 by Don Kiely