Bill Gibson's Blog

Thoughts on building SQL Server Data Tools

SQL Server Data Tools – From Oslo to Juneau.

Time to blog again!  The road to Oslo turned out to have many twists, turns and eventually roadblocks.  So for a little over a year now I’ve been working on database development tools with SQL Server Data Tools – known earlier as ‘Juneau’.  Seems to be a far north theme here!   

We’re readying the first release of SSDT as part of SQL Server 2012 so life is exciting (hah!)  We’ve just shipped a tech preview, CTP4, which you can download here.  The tools target SQL 2005 and later so you don’t have to install SQL 2012 to use them.  And they work with any edition of SQL Server – from Express to Enterprise.  If you don’t have, or want to install, SQL Server you can use Local DB, the lightweight SQL Server runtime that installs with the tools.  This is perfect for desktop debugging or just practising your SQL. And of course the tools also target SQL Azure in the cloud.

Think of SSDT as the next generation of the database projects that currently ship in the high-end Visual Studio SKUs.  Moving the tools from Visual Studio to SQL Server means any SQL Server user can use them – no charge.  They still install and run in VS – either the installation you have already or a lightweight shell SSDT will install for you.  And being in SQL Server means we can really push the envelope and work closely with the engine teams to make the tools richer and more integrated with the database.

SSDT uses a model-based declarative approach which is what makes it so interesting to me – I’ll post more on this later.  As for me, I’ve been working on the model-based schema comparison tool – more on that in another post also.

For more info on SSDT check out the SSDT main page and SSDT team blog.  But if you just can’t wait go straight to the download page.