There we so many cool announcements at the PASS Summit this year, but one of my favorites was the “One Tool to Rule Them All”. The SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) teams and the Visual Studio (VS) team have finally teamed up together to give us one tool to do all our development work for Databases, SSIS, SSAS & SSRS. No more will we have to install Visual Studio Shell, SSDT, SSDT-BI and for those source control minded folks (which should be everyone!) that use Team Foundation Server (TFS), Team Explorer. For SQL Server 2016 development we can do one install of Visual Studio 2015 and call it a day, well, almost.
I was so excited when I got back from Summit, I downloaded SSDT (CTP3) from here. I was so happy to see the install screen.
There they were, in all their glory, all the SQL Server project types that I needed. No more having to download multiple install files. Oh happy day!
After the install completed, I was a bit dismayed to discover that it took 3GB of disk space to do this install but I guess that’s par for the course any more.
Visual Studio Install
Next I wanted to see if you got all these same project types with an install of Visual Studio. They announced at Summit that “SSDT” would now be “included” with Visual Studio. So I went out and downloaded Visual Studio (CTP3, Community Edition, i.e., free) from here. And look what shows up on the install features list, there it is in black and white, Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools, almost too good to be true.
Well, we all know that if something seems too good to be true, then it usually is. This is no exception. Let’s see if you can pick out the reason for my disappointment in the picture below.
That’s right, the only SQL Server project types that are installed with Visual Studio are database projects. No SSIS, no SSAS & no SSRS. That was very disappointing. Also note that it installed the templates for Visual C#, Visual Basic, etc., when the only feature that I requested to be installed was SQL Server Data Tools. I guess that’s why this install took 5GB of disk space as opposed to the 3GB that SSDT required.
The good thing about the new Visual Studio is that if you use TFS as your source control, you no longer have to download the separate TFS Team Explorer, it is now built in to Visual Studio. No additional installs are required.
Right “out of the box”, you get the Team menu item. However, this is NOT included in the SSDT install. I guess someone thinks we don’t really need to source control our SQL Server projects <sigh>.
Almost One Tool
Because I use TFS as my source control, I still have to do two installs, SSDT to get ALL the SQL Server project types AND Visual Studio so I can add all my SQL Server project types to source control.
This is definitely better than what we have to do now if we are doing development work prior to SQL Server 2016, but it’s not “One Tool to Rule Them All” yet. I’m hoping that since this is a CTP, the final products will contain “all the things”, but I certainly won’t hold my breath.
Now I’m off to test if they’ve overcome the issue of database projects playing nicely with SSAS projects. For those that use the multidimensional model with partitioning, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ll keep you posted with my results.