Web Data Administration Tool from Microsoft
March 31, 2004
Are you a Database Administrator that has a desire to work remotely but don't have access to your databases while you are out of your office? Would you consider using a web interface to manage your SQL Server databases and Logins? If so, then you might want to consider checking out Microsoft's tool that will allow you to perform some SQL Server administration functions via the web. The tool is called WEB Data Administrator and can be downloaded from Microsoft. The WEB Data Administrator tool is written in ASP.NET. In this article, I will give you a quick introduction of the capabilities of this tool, as well as let you know some of the key functionality that is missing from the tool.
How to Obtain the Web Data Administrator Tool
You can download the Web Data Administrator Tool from Microsoft. The download is 2292 KB is size. The Web Data Administrator Tool needs to be installed on a machine running Windows 2000 and IIS, plus the machine needs to have the .NET Framework SDK installed. To download the file and obtain additional information about this tool go to the following web site: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c039a798-c57a-419e-acbc-2a332cb7f959&DisplayLang=en
Quick Tour of the Web Data Administrator Tool
Once you have downloaded and installed the Web Data Administration tool it will be all set up and ready, for you to use, to perform your remote administration tasks. The default home page for the tool can be found at http://<webserver>/webadmin/default.aspx, where <webserver> is the name of the webserver where you installed the tool. When logged directly onto my IIS machine the home page for the Web Data Administrator tool looks like below.
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Once you login to a server, the tool provides you a number of "SERVER TOOLS" for managing your environment. Below is a screen shot that was displayed when I connect to the local SQL Server that resides on my IIS machine.
As you can see, there are 4 different SERVER TOOLS, "Databases", "Import", "Export" and "Security". Note that on the above screen shot the "Databases" server tool is highlighted, so the right pane displays all the databases on my local SQL Server. Let's review how each of these SERVER TOOLS can help you manage your SQL Server environment remotely.
Using Web Data Administrator to Manage Databases
From reviewing the prior screen shot, you can see that this tool allows you to create a new database, plus edit, query or delete an existing database. If you want to create a new database just click on the link named "Create new database" in the upper right hand corner of the page. After clicking on this link, the following page is displayed.
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If you want to manage objects within a database, first you need to click on the "Databases" SERVER TOOL item, and then click on the database for which you want to manage objects. When I do this for the Northwind database, the following screen is displayed.
I am not going to show you how each of these options work, but I will at least show you how you can use the "Query" tool to return or modify data in your database. When you click on the Query Tool, the following web page is displayed.
From this web page you are can write, execute and save your query. You can also browse for a query that you already have saved. Say you wanted to display the top 10 Orders records. To do this you would just type the command "select top 10 * from orders" into the text box provided on the above page and then hit the "Execute" button. When I did this on my server this is what was returned.
Not only can you review data, but you can also use this query interface to manipulate your SQL Server using any T-SQL code. Here is an example of a T-SQL command to backup the Northwind database.
I think the database interface of Web Data Administrator exposes you to a lot of functionality for managing Databases. Plus with the Query tool you can basically manage the database and server if you know the T-SQL required for the particular task you need to perform.