Installing SQL Server Data Tools (BI and Data Projects) in Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2012 Shell

About SQL Server Data Tools

In this blog it is my goal to outline how to successfully obtain and install SQL Server Data Tools for both database development projects, as well as Business Intelligence Projects.
First, we'll have a look at each of the components, and go over the features / how to install.

What happened to Business Intelligence Development Studio?

With the release of SQL Server 2012, Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) was renamed to SQL Server Data Tools.
During the installation process of SQL Server, the option to install SQL Server Data Tools will give you the same features as they were existing previous editions of SQL Server which comes down to:

  • Integration Services Projects
  • Reporting Services Projects
  • Analysis Services Projects

These tools only integrate within Visual Studio 2010 or install the Visual Studio 2010 Shell if no installation of Visual Studio 2010 is present.
Recently the Business Intelligence projects also became available for Visual Studio 2012, or install a Visual Studio 2012 Shell when downloaded and Visual Studio 2012 is not present.
How to obtain the Visual Studio 2012 Business Intelligence Projects is covered further in this blog post.

What are Database Projects, and SSDT Database Projects? (also branded as SQL Server Data Tools)

SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) transforms database development by introducing a ubiquitous, declarative model that spans all the phases of database development and maintenance/update inside Visual Studio. You can use SSDT Transact-SQL design capabilities to build, debug, maintain, and refactor databases. You can work with a database project, or directly with a connected database instance on or off-premise. (Source:

By downloading the SQL Server Data Tools - Database Projects you can either download the add-in for Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Studio 2012.
The download can be found here:, or you'll have the option to download them directly from within the Visual Studio 2010 shell if you installed SSDT as part of SQL Server 2012 installation.

What can I do with Database Projects?

A great way to learn more about SQL Server Data Tools Database Projects is to review the presentation that Gert Drapers did at Microsoft TechED Europe 2012 -

Getting the Business Intelligence Projects integrated in Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2012 Shell

SQL Server Data Tools - Business Intelligence Project for Visual Studio 2012 (or Visual Studio 2012 Shell) only released recently (March 6) and can be downloaded here: Kasper De Jonge wrote a nice blog on the functionality of it here:


Question? - So if I both want the BI projects, as well as the Database project do I have to install both?

It depends:

For Visual Studio 2010 Shell or Visual Studio 2010 integration you would install SQL Server Data Tools using the SQL Server 2012 Installer and Select SQL Server Data Tools during setup.
You would then also download the Database Projects for SSDT from: and install the Visual Studio 2010 projects for it.

For Visual Studio 2012 Shell or Visual Studio 2012 integration you would not have to install SQL Server Data tools using the SQL Server Installer, you would rather install the separate download for both SQL Server Data Tools Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2012 and SQL Server Data Tools Database Projects for Visual Studio 2012.


Both can be installed by creating an administrative install point as well, which I outlined in the blog post here.


Question? - Now that I have Visual 2012 based tools installed, do I still need the Visual Studio 2010 Shell?

Likely when you installed Visual Studio 2012 Shell or Visual Studio 2012 it is very unlikely that you'll be using any of the Visual 2010 Shell functionality as it was installed by the SQL Server 2012 installation process.
Therefor, it would be wise to either:

  • not install SQL Server Data Tools as part of a new SQL Server installation (can be done by unselecting SQL Server Data Tools in SQL Server install or by avoiding to install when doing an unattended setup)
  • uninstall SQL Server Data Tools (Visual Studio 2010 shell) prior to installing 2012

Question? I am installing a new laptop or virtual machine, how do I do things right from the first time?

I just finished writing a blog about automated and unattended installation of SQL Server, Visual Studio, SQL Server Data Tools and Office 2013.
You'll find more on the topics below in the blog here:

  • Installing SQL Server unattended, with only the components I needed
  • Installing Visual Studio 2012 unattended, including Visual Studio 2012 update 1
  • Installing SQL Server Data Tools unattended (both Database projects and Business Intelligence)
  • Installing Office 2013 unattended (full installation which now includes PowerPivot / Power View)