ADS: Demo Mode Extension

Through out the year I present a lot of sessions on SQL Server and related technologies. These take place at user groups(9 in 2019), SQL Saturdays(14 in 2019), training sessions at work and teaching the SQL Server certification courses from Microsoft.  With these many different presentations there are differences in the screen sizes and room sizes.

When presenting, setting the demos up in a way that will allow all attendees to easily see the code can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. To accomplish this presenters have several tools available to them.

Tools commonly used

      • ZoomIt – This is a free third party tool that I have been using for a few years
      • Windows 10 Zoom feature
      • Increase the font of the code window in SQL Server Management Studio or Azure Data Studio
      • Use the Demo Mode extension in Azure Data Studio
      • A number of other tools

While I would love to list the pros and cons of each, that really isn’t the focus of this blog post.  Recently an extension for Azure Data Studio was released by Drew Skwiers-Koballa that I think is a great addition to the list of available tools.

The first thing to do is to install the extension.  To do this, you will need to download the .vsix file.  In order to find the extension, you can type the word “Demo” in the extension search box.  Taking a small step back, if you are not sure how to get to the extensions, you can open the extensions by using the menu item under the View menu.

To download the file you will need to click the install button in Azure Data Studio when looking at the documentation of the extension.

When you download the file, place it in a location that will be secure and the file will not be overwritten.  Once saved, to install it, go to the “Install Extension .VSIX package” menu item under the file menu.  You will need to restart Azure Data Studio when the install is complete.  Please remember, this is extension is still marked as being a Preview.  Given that, things could change with the next release.

Now that it is installed, let’s go over what it does.  This part is pretty simple, when enabled, the font in the query window will be come larger and when disabled the font will become the original size.

The two images below show the font with Demo Mode enabled and disabled.  The first image is disabled, while the second has Demo Mode enabled. Notice that the only thing that changed is the font size of the query.

When Demo Mode is enabled the only thing on the screen that will change is the font size of the query.  Everything else will remain the same size.

To enable\disable the extension you will need to do one of two things.  First, you can use the Command Pallett.  Type “Demo Mode” into the search box.  Two options will be returned, Enable and Disable Demo Mode.  This can be seen in the image below.

The second option is to click the Enable\Disable Demo Mode button that is located in the lower left corner of Azure Data Studio.  I personally like this option because it is very easy to use.  By default neither of these options has a keyboard short cut assigned to it.  However, under File–>Preferences–>Keyboard Shortcuts, you can add the short cut key or key combination that will work for you.

You may be asking yourself where does the extension get the font sizes to use.  When the Demo Mode extension is installed, three settings are added.  Two of these settings identify the font size to use when the extension is enabled or disabled.  See the image below.

The Demomode: Demo Font Size setting is what font size ADS will use when the Demo Mode extension is enabled.  As expected, you would want this to be bigger than the Original Font Size, which is just below it.  This represents the font size with the extension is disabled.

The third option will allow Azure Data Studio to send confidential about the usage of the extension.  As you can see with the presence of a checkbox, this is something you can option out of if you like.  The documentation can be found here. This is what the documentation actually states:

“enables anonymous usage data to be sent to an online service”

The documentation also goes on to state the following:

“The extension telemetry sends usage data anonymously to an Application Insights instance. Machine information, such as operating system or general location, may be shared with the general public in aggregate. Your information will not be sold to any third parties. For more on the collection of telemtry in this extension, read more here or ask questions here”

Please read through these very carefully to determine of this is something you would like to opt out of.

Under the hood, when this extension is enabled, it changes the Editor: Font Size to be the same as the Demo: Font Size setting for the extension.  If you close Azure Data Studio while the extension is enabled, the font setting will persist.

What happens if there are more than one query window open?  Well, the extension will apply the font setting to all query windows that are open.  I also noticed that if the extension is enabled and you close settings, the current font size will also persist.

Another question that comes to mind is will this setting only apply to queries?  The answer is no. This extension will also have an impact on the font in Notebooks.  If you look at the image below you will see what the text will look like with the extension enabled and disabled.  Notice the difference in size of the box the text will be entered into.  Of course this assumes that the two font settings for the extension are different sizes.  In a notebook, this font change only applies to when text is being entered, it will not have an impact on the look of the text that will be displayed.  I checked the Terminal that will be used for PowerShell and the use of the extension does not have any effect on the size of the font.

If you open Settings and you only get json, earlier I completed a blog post on how to open the Settings in json rather than the UI.  Here is the link to that blog post.  In the settings.json file, the Demo Mode extension will look like below.

I like this new extension and plan on utilizing it for all my sessions that use Azure Data Studio.  For additional information you can go to the documentation. I would like to point out that while this extension has a target audience of people who do presentations, it also has another audience.  Sometimes, I just need the font to be slightly bigger for a temporary reason, like I am tired and the eyes just can’t focus as well as normal.  I can use this extension to make that much easier.

For more information about  Drew, the developer of this extension, you can go to his blog, https://www.drewsk.tech/.  Also he has a nice presentation on developing extensions.  If you get a chance to hear this at your local user group or SQL Saturday, make sure you go, it is a very nice session!

Thanks for visiting my blog!!!