Free Windows Tools
I sometimes come across great free tools from companies or individuals and I just wanted to share them in one convenient location.
Last updated 11/11/2014 - Chuck Lathrope
Management Studio Alternatives and Add-ons
- Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express - This is MSDE replacement and is FREE, use it also to manage your SQL 2000 boxes in one interface.
- SSMS Tools Pack - http://www.ssmstoolspack.com - Lots of SSMS enhancements, Highly Recommended and Express compatible too! Newer versions cost money now though.
- SMSSBoost - http://www.ssmsboost.com - great productivity enhancements you wished SSMS had already.
- Extended Event Manager for SQL 2008/R2 - Missing a UI in 2008 SSMS? Well Jonathan to the rescue!
- Quest TOAD - Free version has debug capability I am told. MySQL Version available also. A good demo of tricks with SSMS and TOAD.
- SSMS Object Find - Includes source code if you are interested.
- SQLSharp - Has a ton of SQLCLR scripts to save tons of coding time.
- SQL Sentry Plan Explorer - SQL 2005+ execution plan explorer on serious steriods!
- SQL Complete - Code formatter and auto complete (Intellisense).
- SQL Scripts Manager - Red-Gate tool that you can use and share your own scripts with community.
- SQL Search - Red-Gate tool to find objects or words in your code.
Performance Monitoring Tools
- Idera SQLCheck - http://www.idera.com/freetools
- IgniteFree - From Confio, editions for Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, and Sybase.
- Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) - Analyzes log files for best practice issues and lets you know in stoplight color coding; values for exchange, sql, iis, etc.
- Performance Dashboards - SQL Server 2005 SP2 Performance dashboards
- Qure Analyzer - Profiler analyzer that can compare to a baseline capture.
- SQL SPY by Hybridx provides 75 features for SQL Server 2000 and 2005 instances.
- SQL Server 2005 Performance Collector Tool - Works with Health and History Tool.
- SQL Server 2005 Health and History Tool
- DMVStats - collects, analyzes and reports on SQL Server 2005 DMV performance data
- PSSDiag - SQL 7/2000 diagnostic tool from PSS.
- SQL Heartbeat - Monitors servers waits, IO, Cache Hits, active processes, locks and deadlocks.
- Server Performance Advisor - Microsoft Windows 2003 tool for actively troubleshooting IIS, AD, DNS, TS, SQL, and others.
- LogParser - Analyze those text based log files with this tool to query text files like a database.
- Performance Monitor Wizard - Make your Perf Monitor setup easier with this tool.
- ClearTrace - SQL MVP created a profiler aggregation tool to roll up all the common queries to see overall usage.
- TraceAnalyzer - Similar to ClearTrace, but more simplistic.
- LogMan – Win2k Resource Kit - windows command line tool you can create a perfmon collection definition and push it out to all your servers, perfmon command line scripting.
- ReLog – Win2k Resource Kit - windows command line tool to extract and manipulate perfmon data from saved log files. You can resample the log files and store them in a database via a ODBC DSN name. You can also combine log files and extract data from them specifying the time period too. You can relog to csv file also.
- Typeperf - Win2k Resource Kit - Write perfmon information to command window or a log file. Or just see what counters are available on remote computer.
- Windows Performance Analysis Toolkit - Now visible in Windows 2008 xperf is command line tool that is monitoring at a lower level than perfmon.
- SQL Server 2005 Express Profiler - a free SQL Profiler for SQL Express
- Who is Active - A script from MVP Adam Machanic that I install on all of my servers.
- Quest Benchmark Factory (20 user load) - http://www.quest.com/benchmark-factory/freeware.aspx This application will provide the lowest TPC-C/D benchmarking tests, but they do have commerial version that goes much higher.
- HammerDB - TPC like benchmarking for SQL Server and other RDBMS.
- SQLQueryStress - automatically collects metrics to help you determine whether your queries will perform under load, and what kind of resource strain they put on your server
- SQLIO Disk Subsystem Benchmark Tool - used to determine the I/O capacity of a given configuration
- Diskspd - SQLIO replacement from Microsoft.
- Crystal Disk Mark - Windows GUI based disk performance testing tool. Simple, but effective.
- Idera SQLPermissions - http://www.idera.com/freetools - Move logins and permissions to one or many destinations.
- Quest discovery wizard - Find SQL servers hiding on your network, in Beta.
- SQLPing - Find SQL servers (including MSDE) on your network.
- And other misc SQL password tools for those forgotten passwords in DTS and stored procedures on their site www.sqlsecurity.com.
- KeePass - Storing passwords safely.
- LastPass - Another password storing tool, but more useful for individual.
- Centrify Express - Active Directory integration with Linux, UNIX, & MAC.
- ApexSQL Refactor - Refactor
- Jean-Claude Manoli's code formater - online formatting. Has source code download and formats C#, VB, HTML/XML/ASPX, T-SQL and MSH
- SQLinForm - online and desktop versions
- Simple Talk's Prettifier - online format tool for T-SQL, C# and VB.
- Wangz's Instant SQL Formatter
- http://sqlprofiler.googlepages.com - Free SQL Express Profiler.
- CHM help file converter - Free conversion tool that works.
- Instant Online SQL Formatter - They have add-in downloads also.
- Idera SQL Backup Status Reporter, Continuous Data Protection, Linux HotCopy (snapshotting tool), and Azure SQL Backup - http://www.idera.com/freetools
Visualize your DB
- BI Documentor - The database only version is free, but full BI stack documentation available in full product.
- SQLInternals - View graphically your SQL data as it is stored on your database server. Old blog site found here: http://sqlblogcasts.com/blogs/danny/default.aspx
- DbVisualizer - Download their main program and it is free version, apply for trial key to unlock full capabilities.
- Free Visio viewer application.
Data Modeling and Data Visualization
- CA ERWin - ERwin Data Modeler Community Edition - Only 25 objects :-(
- DBDesigner for SQL - Fork of an opensource MySQL product for MSSQL.
- Tableau Public - Visualize data quickly in the cloud and embed on your website.
Database Server Administration Tools
- SQL Server Web Data Administrator - admin your SQL Server over the web
- SQL Server Express Utility - MSDE replacement, free SQL database application.
- Express Profiler - Express and workgroup edition don't have profiler, use this app instead.
- SSMS Tools Pack - an add-in for SQL Server Management Studio and SQL Server Management Studio Express
- Logparser - Import log files into SQL server using TSQL commands! How-to article.
- SQL 2000 Tools article
- FineBuild - One click SQL server installation including patch files.
- SQL 2005 Partition Management - Written by a MS employee, it helps with creating all the objects for rolling partitions.
- SQL Server 2005 Best Practices Analyzer - lets you verify the implementation of common Best Practices
- Nob Hill Diana Lite - View all DB objects across many servers and search easily for dependencies. MySQL support also.
SQL Comparison and Script Export
- Bypsoft's DBTYP.NET - compares SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle databases. Cross database comparison of schemas and data.
- SQL DB Tools - SqlDbDiff, SqlDbSearch and SqlDbSize utility
- TableDiff.exe - utility that compares 2 tables for differences in data and schema for SQL Server 2000 and 2005
- CompareData - Table comparison using ODBC drivers.
- SQL Scripter - data export and scripting utility for Microsoft SQL Server
- ScriptDb - data export and scripting utility for Microsoft SQL Server
- Script SQL DDL - A tool which scripts out SQL Server 2000/2005 database objects to individual files in a manner which mimics Microsoft's Visual Studio for Database Professionals [aka, "Data Dude"].
- SQLDBSearch - Find objects with a gui tool.
- SQLBulkCopy - Full source code for using .net's bulk copy class, multiple threads per partioned file makes copies go super fast.
- Winmerge - Compares any text files (2 at a time, but can do entire directory).
- RegEx Builder - Simple GUI app to verify your regex works.
HTML Parser - http://htmlagilitypack.codeplex.com if you need to scrape HTML for data, this tool is a must! Great article on using it: http://www.simple-talk.com/sql/learn-sql-server/how-to-import-data-from-html-pages/
SQLDiffFramework - A Visual Differencing Engine for Dissimilar Data Sources (SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, etc)
- SSIS Community Tasks and Components List - A maintained motherload list of SSIS addons, free and not free.
- BIDS Helper - A Visual Studio.Net add-in with features that extend and enhance the functionality of the SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 BI Development Studio (BIDS). With many Analysis Services helpers.
- SQLIS Checksum Transform - A very quick and automated method to check for changes between two datarows or data columns.
- Pragmaticworks.com - SSIS tools.
- Expressor Studio - Graphical ETL for SSIS.
- Attunity Drivers for SSIS. Oracle and Teradata connectors that work better than anything else.
Windows Administrator Tools
- Royal TS - RDP Session manager in one interface ver 1.5.1 is free.
- Died in 2009: mRemote - RDP, VNC, HTTP, ICS, SSH, Telnet, Rlogin, RAW session manager.
- Terminals - RDP, VNC, VMRC, SSH, Telnet, RAS, ICA Citrix, HTTP(s) based viewers, & network tools.
- RDP Connection Manager 2.0 - Microsoft Clustering team tool for use with Windows 2008 R2.
- SYSInternals - All windows server admins should use their tools. ShellRunAs for Windows 2008!
- Teracopy - Another replacement for windows crappy file copy operations to be used with right-clicking in explorer. Or use windows 8/2012+ as MS fixed copy process.
- ClearTrace - utility to easier read your saved trace files
- SMS Trace - Installing just the Common Tools, you can use this tool to monitor log files in real time as they change. Has nice search highlighting feature also.
- Filezilla - FTP opensource project.
- WinSCP - Secure FTP client.
- 7-Zip - The BEST file archive tool out there hands down. Don't use winzip.
- TCP Port Query tools - Article I wrote up on PortQryUI and PortReporter.
- Quest Software - Lots of Systems administration tools for free.
- Regexdesigner - GUI interface for Regex expressions.
- Microsoft Network Monitor 3.3 - Latest version of Microsoft Network Monitor Tool (packet capture).
- Wireshark - Next iteration of Etheral, a great network packet capture tool.
- MyDefrag - Works great, I use on my desktop and creates automated schedules for you.
- Defraggler - Defrag your harddrive.
- WinAudit from Parmavex. It creates a lengthy report detailing software, licenses, security, hardware, network settings, etc...
- CPU-Z by Franck Delattre from CPUID. Provides very detail information on the CPU, motherboard, and memory.
- GPartEd - Disk partition change tool.
- TrueCrypt - Encrypt files on your computer, can install on USB flash drive also.
- AutoHotKey - Create your own hotkeys to do just about anything.
- SAN Monitor - Solarwinds create a desktop gadget to monitor your SAN.
- SolarWinds - Many free tools including WMI monitor, AD permissions analyzer, Exchange monitor, Network AppFlow monitor, SAN monitor, TFTP server, VM monitor, and more. They bought Confio in 2014 also.
- AdvancedRenamer - Finally, a decent renaming tool.
- SpaceSniffer - Need to find what is hogging space on your drive? Look no further, this app is awesome!
- Hyper-V VHD Explorer - Mounting and dismounting VHD files.
PowerShell and WMI
- PowerGUI - Powershell GUI program from Quest Software.
- SQLPSX - Powershell Extensions for SQL Server.
- Scriptomatic - WMI helper tool from Microsoft. All script center example scripts.
- WMI Code Creator 1.0 - Create .net code to query WMI information.
- WMI Diagnostic Tool - Find issues with your computer's WMI setup.
- PSPad - Has ftp component, external tool linkage including compilers. HTML smart.
- NotePad++ - Like textpad, but free.
- XML Notepad 2007 - Great tool instead of IE for viewing and editing xml files.
- WinMerge - Not an editor, but text file comparison tool.
- Agent Ransack - New 2010 Version. Has regex capability and it runs on Vista/Windows 2008 server.
- Wingrep - Doesn't work on Windows 2008/Vista.
- Google Desktop Search - plus many more cool tools.
- TextCrawler - RegEx capable, can do multiple files.
- Gimp - Been around for years for all OS's, Very comprehensive set of tools.
- Paint.net - Shares name of Paint that comes with OS, but is 100 times better.
- Picasa - Image collection tool from Google, can do quick and simple photo fixes, and the collage feature is just awesome.
- InkScape - An Illustrator tool.
- UStream - Stream your webcast video live with Twitter tweets or live chat.
- CamStudio - Video Screen Recording Software - super cheap, but not free.
- SharedView - Microsoft Live Meeting based application to share upto 15 people.
- Teamviewer - Share your screen with others, like SharedView.
- Mikogo - Desktop screen sharing and saving for up to 10 users. Dual control and many other cool features.
- Jing - From TechSmith, creates visuals like screen shots, screen capture videos, for you to share with others.
- Windows media encoder - It saves the video in wmv format and can be played in both windows media player and Real Player. It can also record your screen and voice for demos too.
- Handbrake - Convert DVDs to smaller formats or convert other existing files.
- ACID - Sony's ACID program is awesome, they have a free xpress version.
- Audacity - Sourceforge hosted opensource app that has tons of features.
- GreenShot - easy to use screen snapshot. The tool has an editor that allows you to add comments, shapes, arrows, etc...
- Cropper - Screen capture app that works on all Windows flavors.
- PicPick - provides more features than GreenShot and some differences in the objects you can add to an image. Some of its extra features include color picker, pixel ruler, protractor, crossbar, and whiteboard.
- InputDirector - Control multiple computers from one computer.
- SyncToy - Good desktop tool to sync files on just about everything. Requires MS Sync framework. Live Mesh Beta is latest iteration and much greater flexibility.
- RocketDock - Mac like control bar for your pc with lots of cool icons.
- CCleaner - Remove all traces of your internet and application use on your computer.
- Evernote - Free tool like OneNote, but on many platforms.
- Multimonitor Taskbar - Add taskbar on all your monitors.
- Soluto - Speed up your PC boot time, heal application crashes, and lighten your browser.
- CrashPlan - Backup to other PCs for free, or to the cloud for a fee.
- PlacesBar - Update your Open dialog to show more places to get files from.
- x10 Commander - Command your x10 (home automation) devices.
- iTALC - Command and control many desktops for instructional applications.
- FOG - TFTP and PXE boot imaging system for many computers.
- CloneZilla - Clone your computer for backup or imaging purposes.
- Ultimate BootCD - All the tools you need to repair your broken system.
- Onenote - MS release Onenote as a free tool and have a version for Mac users also.
- Office Saveto PDF - Save from your office applications to PDF or XPS.
- Office Live Downloads and links: Visit http://workspace.office.live.com signup for an account. Download the OfficeLive to Office Outlook connector, Office Outlook Connector 12.1 – which allows you to manage your hotmail or livemail account from Outlook.
- BullZip - PDF Printer
- Recuva - Restore deleted files and emails from all hardware mediums.
- PhotoRec - Photo recovery on removable media.
- TestDisk - Recover lost partitions, recover boot sectors, deleted files from FAT, NTFS, and EXT2
- Navicat - MySQL and Oracle graphical UI editor.
- http://www.heidisql.com - UI driven code editor for MySQL on Windows platform.
- Quest TOAD - MySQL Version
Server Monitoring Tools
- SpiceWorks - Inventory, network map, helpdesk app.
- Nagios - Variety of flavors, been around for long time. Search google for best version.
- Cacti - Not a true monitoring software, but a network graphing solution to visualize your monitoring server data.
- DocAve Extender - Move your blob storage (documents) off SQL and on to fileshares for free!