SQL Server Management Studio: Displaying and Filtering Objects

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.

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2 thoughts on “SQL Server Management Studio: Displaying and Filtering Objects

  1. Chandrashekar K

    Hi Don,
    We also use Oracle database and use Oracle-SQL-Developer as IDE which is similar to SSMS. Oracle-SQL-Developer also has feature to filter the database objects. However it has an advantage that if you apply a filer, close the tool and open it again, the filter values stay and not get cleared automatically. You manually need to clear or change it. I search whether same feature is available in SSMS but did not find any.

    If you know how to enable the feature or know any workaround please let me know.

    Thanks in advance.
    Chandrashekar K

    1. Zach Young

      Hello, Chandrashekar! Thank you for your comment and question! Unfortunately I don’t know of a way to accomplish that in Management Studio, though Don did suggest adding a Connect issue to see if there is support for adding it. Thank you so much!


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