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FAQ: Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools

What is SQL Server Data Tools?

SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is the final name for the product formerly known as SQL Server Developer Tools, Code-Named “Juneau”.  SSDT provides a modern database development experience for the SQL Server and SQL Azure Database Developer.  As the supported SQL Azure development platform, SSDT will be regularly updated online to ensure that it keeps pace with the latest SQL Azure features.

Key facts:

  • SSDT is available as a free component of the SQL Server platform and is available for all SQL Server users.
    • SSDT targets: SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012 and SQL Azure
  • SSDT was initially released on the web alongside SQL Server 2012
    • SSDT with SQL Server 2012 was initially hosted in the Visual Studio 2010 SP1 shell. It can install standalone or combine with existing Visual Studio 2010 Professional SP1 or higher installations
  • SSDT also shipped with Visual Studio 2012
  • SSDT full versions and updates are available online at the SSDT download page or via the Web Platform Installer ( WebPI)
    • SSDT installation will provide an administrative install experience to create a sharable setup which could be placed on a USB thumb drive or internal file share behind your firewall

Who is SSDT for, and what does it provide them?

SSDT is for SQL Server database developers, who often develop database schemas, views, stored procedures, and other database objects while developing their application logic.

  • Tooling for both SQL Server and SQL Azure Development: SSDT offers new capabilities in a single cohesive environment to compile, refactor, and deploy databases to specific editions of SQL Server and SQL Azure.  The toolset makes it easy, for example, to migrate on-premise SQL Server schemas to the cloud on SQL Azure, and develop and maintain databases across both on premise and cloud deployments. SSDT can target SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012, and SQL Azure databases, including all editions of these database servers.
  • For SQL Server DBAs: SSDT provides a central and unified toolset targeted to the specific needs of DBAs to develop and maintain databases, with visual tools for developing tables, schema compare, and rich T-SQL support for refactoring databases, building views, stored procedures, functions and triggers.  The toolset provides both a live development mode, and an offline project mode that tracks and manages all artifacts associated with a database.  This mode optionally fully integrates with Visual Studio 2010 for team development, source control and change tracking.  All change operations are automatically transformed into optimized T-SQL alter scripts, and can optionally be applied immediately to the online database or saved for later execution. 

How much does SSDT cost?

SSDT is broadly available as a free component of the SQL Server platform and will be available for all SQL Server users.

Where can I ask more questions about SSDT?

Simply visit our MSDN forum at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/ssdt/

What are the Prerequisites for Installing SSDT?

SSDT can be installed standalone or can be integrated into an existing Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2010 installation (Pro and above)

Visual Studio 2012:

  • If you already have the Professional, Ultimate, or Premium Edition of Visual Studio 2012 and didn't opt out of installing SQL Server Data Tools during setup, then your machine has an existing installation of SSDT. Installing an SSDT web update will replace these SSDT bits with a newer version.
  • If you do not have Visual Studio 2012 Professional Edition or above, SSDT will install the Visual Studio 2012 Integrated Shell and install SSDT on top of it. The Integrated Shell will only contain SSDT, and does not include VS programming languages and the features that support their respective project systems. The database functionality of Express SKUs of Visual Studio 2012 will also be updated when an SSDT web update is installed.

The operating systems supported by SSDT for Visual Studio 2012 are the following:

  • Windows 7 SP1 (x86 and x64)
  • Windows 8 (x86 and x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (x64)
  • Windows Server 2012 (x64)

Visual Studio 2010:

  • If you already have the Professional Edition or higher of Visual Studio 2010, SSDT will integrate into your existing VS environment. Please note that you must install SP1 manually before installing SSDT.
  • If you do not have Visual Studio 2010 Professional Edition or above, SSDT will install the Visual Studio 2010 Integrated Shell, apply SP1, and install SSDT on top of it. The Integrated Shell will only contain SSDT, and does not include VS programming languages and the features that support their respective project systems.

The operating systems supported by SSDT for Visual Studio 2010 are the following:

  • Windows Vista SP2 or above
  • Windows 7 SP1 or above
  • Windows Server 2008 SP2 or above
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or above

Is SSDT a replacement for SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)?

SSMS is targeted at core administration of connected databases, and will continue to be a part of SQL Server, and a core component of SQL Server 2012.  As such, SSMS will continue to be the graphical tool for such tasks as creating and managing database backups, creating and viewing extended events, and other such central DBA administration tasks for production databases.

Is SSDT a replacement of the Visual Studio for Database Professionals ("Data Dude") Product?

SSDT is an evolution of the existing Visual Studio Database project type, as such you can update existing projects (*.dbproj) to a SQL Server database project (*.sqlproj). Please note that some of the Visual Studio 2010 database project features; specially data generation and data compare are not part of SSDT.

Do Database Projects (“Data Dude”) remain in Visual Studio 2012?

In Visual Studio 2012, SSDTl both replaced and provided conversion capability for existing Visual Studio database projects. You can see this change in the Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2012

What are You Improving Over Visual Studio 2010 Database Projects ("Data Dude")?

SSDT includes a number of features not present in the existing Visual Studio 2010 database project types. Notably, the project oriented features are more in line with traditional VS projects.  For instance, SSDT includes support for “Goto Definition”, and “Find All References” for database artifacts, much like C# and VB.NET.  Also, refactoring support is provided.   For example, a developer or DBA can click on a column name in a stored procedure, find all references of that column name throughout the database (views, stored procedures, indexes, table definitions, etc); and quickly refactor the entire schema if changing this field.  Also, the SSDT projects can target SQL Server 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, and SQL Azure, and help migrate schemas between these versions.  Additionally, SSDT provides a strong connected experience in the new SQL Server Object Explorer including a new “PowerBuffer” declarative development feature.  Common across both the project and connected experience is a new table designer, an updated schema compare and an updated publish feature.  

Do you have an upgrade story for "Data Dude" customers?

Existing customers with SQL Server database projects in Visual Studio 2010 will be able to upgrade to the new SSDT Database project.

Does SSDT enable SQL CLR Development?

Yes, SQL CLR Developers will be able to develop, debug and deploy SQL CLR components using SSDT, as part of its project based development environment.

Will the BIDS tools be available as part of SSDT?

SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is a distinct toolset from SQL Server Data Tools - Business Intelligence (SSDT-BI).

In the SQL Server 2012 installer, developers can install SQL Server Data Tools - Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2010 by selecting SSDT during installation.  The BIDS tools will run on Visual Studio 2010 SP1, as SSDT does. The SQL Server 2012 installer will also install SSDT’s prerequisites and a “stub project” that allows SQL Server 2012 users to acquire the latest SSDT version from the web.

SSDT - BI can be obtained on the web for Visual Studio 2012 via the following download: Download SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2012

How do you enable tracing in SSDT?

To aid investigation of customer-reported issues or product bugs, an SSDT team member may ask for trace files. Please follow these steps to enable tracing:

1.       Open a new command prompt as Administrator.

2.       Run the following commands

logman start MicrosoftDacFx -p {79F618AD-4B02-4D46-A525-F5A93C551DDD} 0x800 -o "%LOCALAPPDATA%\DacFX.etl" -ets
logman start MicrosoftSsdt -p {77142e1c-50fe-42cc-8a75-00c27af955c0} 0x800 -o "%LOCALAPPDATA%\SSDT.etl" -ets

3.        Run the target scenario is in SSDT.

4.       Go back to the command prompt and run the following commands
logman stop MicrosoftDacFx -ets

logman stop MicrosoftSsdt –ets

5.       The resulting ETL files will be located at "%LOCALAPPDATA%\DacFX.etl"  and "%LOCALAPPDATA%\SSDT.etl" and can be navigated to using Windows Explorer.

6.        Attach this file to an email and send it to the SSDT team member you've been working with.

 

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