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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 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/data/gg427686 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?

James Serra's Blog

James is a big data and data warehousing technology specialist at Microsoft. He is a thought leader in the use and application of Big Data technologies, including MPP solutions involving hybrid technologies of relational data, Hadoop, and private and public cloud. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 30 years of IT experience. James is a popular blogger (JamesSerra.com) and speaker, having presented at dozens of PASS events including the PASS Business Analytics conference and the PASS Summit. He is the author of the book “Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012”. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.


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