Thursday, March 07, 2013

Installing BIDS project templates for SQL 2012

You can absolutely be forgiven for being confused about how to install the BIDS project templates for SQL 2012. They've moved to the new Sql Server Data Tools (SSDT), but Microsoft are themselves inconsistent about what SSDT is. To make matters worse, you've got Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 versions of each package, depending on what IDE you want to work in.

I'll attempt to clarify:

  • SSDT is only the updated SQL database project template, that replaces the Database Edition GDR / datadude stuff (and subsumes the SQL-CLR project type)
  • SSDT-BI is the other, ex-BIDS projects: SSIS, SSRS, SSAS
Unfortunately the SQL 2012 install media uses the term 'Sql Server Data Tools' to refer to both at the same time, and up-until-last-week the SSDT-BI project didn't exist outside of the SQL install media. Much confusion and delay. Hopefully the following guidance clears it up a bit:

If you only care about the SQL Server Database project

(eg: you are a C# developer, and your SQL database schema as a project in your solution)

Install the appropriate version of SSDT that matches the version of Visual Studio (2010 or 2012) you're using right now (or both if necessary):
Note these do not include the BIDS project templates (SSRS, SSIS, SSAS); they only include the new SQL Server Database project template.

If you are a BI developer, and want the lot a Visual Studio 2010 Shell

Install the 'Sql Server Data Tools' component from the SQL 2012 install media. This gets you everything you need.
Optionally, also install the updated version of the SQL project template (only) by installing SSDT for Visual Studio 2010 a Visual Studio 2012 Shell

Install the standalone version of SSDT for Visual Studio 2012 (for the database project) and SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2012 (for the SSRS, SSIS, SSAS templates)

...but don't know which shell to use

If you plan to create a single Visual Studio Solution (.sln) combining BIDS artifacts database projects and other project types (e.g. C# or VB projects), then that will determine your choice here. It's certainly easier working in just one IDE than having to have two open.

Otherwise just pick one. You might be swayed by some of the new VS 2012 features, then again you get the 2010 version already on the install media, so that option is less downloading. Given they shipped against one version, but now support the next as far as I can see they'll have to support both versions going forwards, at least for a couple of years.

Editors Note: This rewrite replaces the sarcastic rant I had here previously, which was quite cathartic, but not desperately helpful in navigating the landscape here.

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