An integral part of the Visual Studio 2015 data tools is a set of features known as the SQL Server Data Tools (or SSDT). This tutorial explores the history around this toolset. It also contains an overview of the features available (like the Business Intelligence Tools and IDE windows) that are added to Visual Studio when you install the SSDT.
- [Voiceover] As a longtime Visual Studio user, I've watch the data tools morph and change over the years. In this video, I'd like to talk about a set of tools known as the SQL Server Data Tools, also called the SSDT. They first appeared on the scene in 2008. At that point in time, the Visual Studio team and the SQL Server team joined forces to produce a tools set for Visual Studio. The SSDT were an integrated part of Visual Studio 2008. For people that worked with SQL Server but didn't need a copy of Visual Studio, there was another tool called the Business Intelligence Development Studio.
The same tools were in both applications. Of course, Visual Studio contained a lot of other developer tools besides the SSDT tools. Basically, the tools were designed to make it easier to use with SQL Server during tasks that make sense for developers and business analysts, not database administrators. For the analysts, there was a set of business intelligence tools. You could create and view reports with the SQL Reporting Services, and analyze your data with the Analysis Services. For the developer, there were tools for the development workflow. For example, the server explorer makes it simple to connect to data servers from the IDE.
There were tools for comparing the data in two databases, and one for comparing the database schema between databases. There were database entity viewers. These tools allowed a developer to view and edit a database table or stored procedure directly in Visual Studio. No need to install the SQL Server Management Studio. The tool was well received, but then something happened in the next release. The SQL team and the Visual Studio team shipped on different schedules, so the tooling in Visual Studio became unsynced and chaotic for a few releases.
There was no support for SSDT in Visual Studio 2010, and a confusing mix of tools in Visual Studio 2012. Finally, with the release of Visual Studio 2013, the SSDT tools returned and were available in the Visual Studio installer. The same is true in Visual Studio 2015. The SSDT tools are part of the installer, but there are some minor quibbles. Most of the developer centric tools are part of the default install, so you'll be able to use them without much effort. The rest of the tools, mostly the ones targeted at the business analysis side, are not in the default install.
The good news is that they are easy to add to Visual Studio. It's not necessary to download any additional installers. The tools in this version of the SSD are similar to what was in the original release. You'll find all the business intelligence tools are there. Naturally, Microsoft has updated some of the tools, so you'll find improved entity framework designers in the package. You'll find the database project templates in the new project dialog, and all the standard IDE Windows are there, too, like the SLQ Explorer and the Table Designers.
In the next video, I'll show you how to install the entire SSDT feature set with the Visual Studio installer.
- Exploring integration with Azure data sources and other Microsoft databases
- Working with SQL Server Express LocalDB
- Connecting to databases with Server Explorer
- Working with database tables
- Manipulating tables with the SQL Server Object Explorer
- Creating queries and custom views
- Creating stored procedures
- Comparing databases
- Building a data project in Visual Studio
- Refactoring a database object
- Deploying the database
- Connecting to Azure databases
- Deploying data projects to Azure
- Integrating Visual Studio with Entity Framework
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 08/23/2017. What changed?
A: The following topics were updated: installing the SSDT features and why LocalDB is essential for developers.