Announcing SQL Server Data Tools - June 2013

We are pleased to announce that SQL Server Data Tools - June 2013 is now available for download.  This release introduces several new features that we have consistently received requests for via MSDN forums and Connect.   From the SSDT team, thank you for your valuable feedback and suggestions!

Get it here

What's new

Data Compare

We received significant feedback that Data Compare is a critical feature for SSDT customers, so this release of SSDT enables the visual data comparison between a customizable list of tables/views in two databases.  From this comparison, a script to update the table data in the target database can be generated.  This is a new addition to SQL Server Data Tools and brings with it support for all SQL Server platforms supported by SSDT including SQL Server 2012 and Windows Azure SQL Database.


Entry point for Data Comparison from SQL Server Object Explorer


Data Comparison showing two different records in Source and Target


This release brings with it a significant payload of updates and additions to the extensibility scenarios supported in SSDT and DACFx.

Build & Deployment contributors

This extensibility point allows hooking custom code up to the existing DACFx build or deployment pipeline. Similar to previous database project extensibility, this enables advanced build and deployment scenarios like auto-generating documentation, custom difference reports, or injecting custom data motion logic into the deployment plan. The three supported contributor types are:

· Build Contributors - Extension that runs when the database project is being built and allows read-only access to the schema model and all properties and arguments of the build task

· Deployment Plan Modifier – Extension that runs after the deployment plan has been generated allowing read/write access to the deployment plan, and read-only access to the model comparison results, and source/target schema models

· Deployment Plan Executor - Extension that runs during deployment allowing read-only access to the deployment plan


New Build Action in SSDT projects for deployment contributors

Schema Model Navigation and Extensibility API

Another addition to this release is the exposure of an API allowing navigation of the schema model contained in a DACPAC or BACPAC. This API allows you to reason over the objects and relationships contained in the schema model generated by DACFx. In addition, this allows you to implement custom solutions on top of DAC package navigation like synchronization with a data access model, writing custom schema navigation and browsing tools, and perform additional schema validation.

Documentation of the key DACFx API namespaces involved in extensibility scenarios can be found on MSDN here. Additionally, walkthrough samples for the creation of build and deployment contributors can be found in the SSDT documentation here.

Updated Data-Tier Application Framework

This release includes the June 2013 release of SQL Server Data-Tier Application Framework (DACFx), which contains several feature enhancements and bug fixes. 

Visual Studio data tooling

Database Unit Testing was included in SSDT December 2012. With SSDT June 2013, Data Comparison was added along with several key extensibility scenarios. However, Data Generation is not included and is not planned to be released in the future. Third party tooling will have to be relied upon for that functionality.

SQL Server 2014 CTP1

Only SQL Server Management Studio that ships with SQL Server 2014 CTP1 should be used with SQL Server 2014 CTP1. No version of Visual Studio, SQL Server Data Tools, or Data-Tier Application Framework provides support for SQL Server 2014 CTP1. We will continue to invest in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) and Data-Tier Application Framework (DACFx) and the tooling will be updated to support future SQL Server and Windows Azure SQL Database releases.

Supporting links

SQL Server 2014 CTP1 -


Contact Us

Please provide your feedback and ask us questions on our forum or via Microsoft Connect.  We look forward to hearing from you.