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James Serra's Blog

James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

SSDT – Installation confusion

SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is a Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) replacement, meaning it has a suite of Visual Studio 2010 add-in tools for building Integration Services (SSIS), Analysis Services (SSAS) & Reporting Services (SSRS) solutions (let’s call that suite SSDT-BIDS).  It is also a suite of Visual Studio 2010 add-in tools for building SQL Server database solutions/projects (let’s call that suite SSDT-DB), a replacement for Visual Studio Database Developer edition (aka “Data Dude”).  It also includes features from SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio).  However, depending on how you go about installing SSDT, either SSDT-BIDS or SSDT-DB will not be installed.  I ran through multiple types of installations, and this is what I found out:

If you go thru the SQL Server 2012 installation and choose “SQL Server Data Tools” on the Feature Selection page, it will install SSDT-BIDS as well as the Visual Studio 2010 Integrated Shell (the Integrated Shell will only contain SSDT tools, and does not include VS programming languages and the features that support their respective project systems), it then applies SP1, but does NOT install SSDT-DB.   Instead of installing SSDT-DB it installs a pointer to a web install that you will see when you try to create a new database project in Visual Studio 2010.  So to install SSDT-DB, follow Install SQL Server Data Tools.  I did not realize I was missing the database project functionality until I could not find the SQL Server Object Explorer window in Visual Studio.  Then after wasting much time I realized I still needed to install SSDT-DB.

If you have not installed SQL Server 2012 (or you did install it but did not select  ”SQL Server Data Tools” on the Feature Selection page), and go to to download and install SSDT, it will automatically install the Visual Studio 2010 Integrated Shell, apply SP1, and install SSDT-DB, but does NOT install SSDT-BIDS.  If you then install SQL Server 2012 and choose “SQL Server Data Tools” on the Feature Selection page, it will install SSDT-BIDS.  It notices that you already installed the Visual Studio 2010 Integrated Shell and won’t install it again.

Note that when SSDT-BIDS is installed, it also installs the menu item “SQL Server Data Tools” under the “SQL Server 2012″ Start Menu option.  When SSDT-DB is installed, it also installs the menu item “Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools” under the root of the Start Menu.  Both of these menu items point to the same executable.

If you have Visual Studio 2010 Professional Edition or above installed before you perform an installation of SSDT through SQL server 2012 or on its own, then you must install SP1 manually before installing SSDT.  The SSDT installation will integrate all the functionalities of SSDT into your existing VS environment.

More info:

SSDT – What’s in a name?


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