Data-tier applications in Visual Studio 2010

Today I was attending this session on SQL, all that's new to the market like SQL Azure, improvements & enhancements in VS 2010 and so on.

He started off with how they went about finding out the pain points that software professionals faced. And, I realized one thing: a lot of these pain areas were those that were faced by me.

Major challenges faced by users today can be categorized in the following areas: -

  • Development: lack of T-SQL designers with no proper debugging was a constant pain
  • Deployment: no seemless integration with VS, unlike for example C# which is like a first class citizen
  • Management: difficult to get control environments

Keeping above issues in mind, I was positively interested in what the speaker had to say on solutions to these problems.

So it seems that finally there is a new T-SQL IDE in VS 2010 with an integrated editor, debugger, intellisense, static code analysis and a lot of other cool features. There's this new "Data-tier Application" project type thats been added to VS2010 that leverages DB project system and makes T-SQL/DAC development in VS a first class exeperience.

This new project type introduces this new thingy called the "DACPACK". this .dacpack file is a single file containing all the information necessary to deploy your entire app.

The best part is that in addition to the seamless experience of deploying the dacpack in visual studio, the dacpack can also be run using SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) and also through a set of powershell commands.

 Can't wait to explore all these new features. Will be back with more posts on this soon.