One of the very useful features in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is a possibility of offline database projects. If you have an existing database in SQL Server it’s quite easy to create a database project from it.
- In Visual Studio click File -> New -> Project
- In New Project window select SQL Server template, select SQL Server Database Project and enter the desired name for you project, then press OK
- In Soltion Explorer right-click you project, select Import in context menu, then Database.
- In Import Database page press New Connection button (if you had not created any connection earlier).
- In Connection Properties page enter the Server name and select a database name in dropdown list.
- In Import Database page press Start button. Visual Studio will create the definitions of your database objects in database project.
- After all is done just press Finish button. Now let’s go to the Solution Explorer and examine the code.
SQL Server 2005-2008R2 was shipped with a Business Intelligence Development Studio. This is a Visual Studio shell with special templates/add-ons/plugins, etc. that are needed for development of BI solutions in SQL Server (analysis, reporting and integration services). SQL Server 2012 has introduced two new tools that are build on Visual Studio. They are SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) and SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence (SSDT-BI). The latter is a successor of BIDS.
As stated in MSDN, Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools provides an integrated environment for database developers to carry out all their database design work for any SQL Server platform (both on and off premise) within Visual Studio. Database developers can use the SQL Server Object Explorer in VS to easily create or edit database objects and data, or execute queries. Developers will also appreciate the familiar VS tools we bring to database development, specifically; code navigation, IntelliSense, language support that parallels what is available for C# and VB, platform-specific validation, debugging and declarative editing in the TSQL Editor, as well as a visual Table Designer for both database projects and online database instances.To install the latest and up-to-date versions of software you need:
- Visual Studio 2013 Professional Edition or higher. You can select only SSDT and unselect the other options.
- Install the latest update via Visual Studio update channel (Tools –> Extensions and Updates –> Updates).