Add SSDT to Your SQL Server Vernacular

SQL Server professionals know all the acronyms and abbreviations in SQL Server land: SSIS, SSRS, SSAS, SSMS, TSQL, BIDS, so on and so on … In the next version of SQL Server, codename “Denali”, there is a new term to be familiar with, particularly for SQL developers and SQL Server database schema developers: SSDT or SQL Server Developer Tools. This is not a replacement for BI Development Studio (BIDS). But you should note that in Denali, all Visual Studio development (BI & database) uses Visual Studio 2010 (VS2010) now, not Visual Studio 2008. You won’t need to separately license VS2010 unless you wish to use some of the more advanced features in Visual Studio and the development team features. But a new set of database development templates are made available with SSDT in Denali and they are closely associated with the preferred database access techniques in .NET development circles, known as Entity Framework, or EF together with LINQ:

When you use Visual Studio to design your SQL Server database schema, you get many of the features available in Visual Studio that .NET developers have also enjoyed such as refactoring and renaming all with Intellisense coding for T-SQL:

Now, when you code your application, you can build the schema directly with Entity Framework and also have the option of keeping the EF model synched up with the database model should you modify the schema directly from Visual Studio instead:

This is all available to you now as part of CTP3 of Denali, which you can download and try out here. This tight integration with EF and Visual Studio 2010 for database projects is what was called “Project Juneau”. I suggest that you go here to learn much, much more about SSDT and Project Juneau. Best, Mark



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