Call it “DataDude”, “TeamData”, “VSTSDBP” or whatever. This new Visual Studio sku is real step in right direction for getting the database development part of your projects under control.
Oh yeah. I know. Your database development is already under control. Your developers already create the ALL the databases they need, and the tables, the indexes, the user defined functions, the stored procedures, etc. It’s working just fine and you really don’t need another “tool”. Well, that’s exactly what I thought till I started using this new Visual Studio sku. The first thing to understand about this new toolset is that it will dramatically change the way you look at database development and the database development lifecycle.
Most of my previous database development efforts were accomplished using the SQL Enterprise Manager, Query Analyzer and the SQL Management Studio (for SQL 2005). I used these tools to create my databases, tables, indexes, user defined functions, stored procedures, etc. running against a local instance of SQL Server. All of this was done “ad-hoc”, without the benefit of source control, unit testing or any proper build procedure. If I forgot to backup my test database and changed something (such as a table name) which broke several functions and sprocs, it took hours and hours to find and fix. Not really a “robust” and “professional” way to develop the data store for an important application but given the tools available at the time, it was the best most of us could do!
Well, that’s no longer the case and with Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals, database development now becomes a fully supported part of your application’s development lifecycle. Now all database development is done “off line” and in a “sandbox” environment (this should make your dba stand up and sing!). All user defined functions and stored procedures can be fully unit tested using representative test data automatically generated by the toolset. And best of all, this new Visual Studio sku fully integrates into Team Foundation Server so your database schema (SQL scripts) can be put under source control just like any other C#, BizTalk or Web Application!
I really recommend that ALL developers doing ANY database development at all, download the latest CTP of this new Visual Studio sku and take it for a spin. This is exactly the kind of extra value that may entice many of us to upgrade to Visual Studio Team Suite!