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Solution to VSTA editor error in SSIS 2012

The script task in SSIS 2012 is a great tool when you need to use C# or VB code to perform a function that is not possible with the other SSIS built-in tasks.  It uses Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA).  One of the limitations when using the script task is if there is a problem with the code, when you try to execute the task you get a generic error message:

So you must set a breakpoint in the script task so you can debug it and get a more descriptive error message.  However, I got an error when trying to open the script task editor.  It said “Cannot show Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Applications editor.  Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Tools.Applications.Core’…The System cannot find the file specified.”:

I never had this problem before when using servers that solely had SQL Server 2012 installed, but in this case this server had both SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2012 installed.  That combination seemed to be the cause, and after much trial and error I performed the following steps to clear up the problem:

  • Uninstall SSIS 2008
  • Uninstall SSIS 2012
  • Uninstall VSTA (3 versions).  You should see the three versions to uninstall when viewing the list in control panel (the bottom three below):
  • Install SSIS 2012 and SSDT (which automatically installs VSTA).  Note the prerequisite box mentions it will install VSTA:

I tried skipping the steps that uninstall SSIS 2008 and SSIS 2012, and was able to get the editor working, but when I tried to execute the script task I got the same error:  ”Cannot show Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Applications editor.  Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Tools.Applications.Core’…The System cannot find the file specified.”:

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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