19 February 2010

Visual Studio 2010 CR doesn’t support SSIS Projects

    I’ve installed today Visual Studio 2010 CR (Candidate Release) without any problems - nice look and feel, new types of projects targeting several new Microsoft solutions (SharePoint 2010, MS Office 2010, Windows Azure, ASP.NET MVC 2, Silverlight 3), everything looked nice until I wanted to create a SSIS project – unfortunately no support for SSIS 2005/2008 within VS 2010. As it seems I’m not the only person looking for that functionality, several discussion forums approaching already this topic on MSDN, SQL Server Developer Center or Microsoft Connect.

      The next version of SQL Server is not 2010, as many would expect, but Microsoft is working on SQL Server 2008 R2 avoiding somehow to synchronize the SQL Server Service solutions with VS 2010. Not sure if this strategic decision was taken for the sake of profit, but there is something fishy about it.

      So if I want to buy VS 2010 and SQL Server 2008 then I need to install also VS 2008, having thus 2 IDEs on my system, they might work together without problems though that means more space, more effort on managing the patches for the two IDE and I would expect that there will be synchronization differences between them, migrate forth and back solutions between frameworks, more issues to troubleshoot. Is this what Microsoft understands by “Integration”?! In the end Microsoft looses because I would expect there will be customers that would avoid moving to VS 2010 just because of the lack of support for SSIS 2005/2008. I wonder how much will hurt customers this lack of SSIS solution integration between VS 2010 and SQL Server 2008?! Quoting an unofficial comment made on one of the forums, it seems that “there will be a separate add-on that will give limited functionality” [1] in working with SSIS, though is this the right approach?

    Being used with the DTS packages functionality available on SQL Server 2000, I found it somehow awkward that Microsoft decided to separate SSIS from the SQL Server Management Studio, on one side I understand that the complexity of SSIS projects requires a IDE much like the one provided by Visual Studio, though for the developer used to SQL Server 2000 not sure if this approach was welcome. Of course, data export/import functionality is available using the’ SQL Server Import and Export Wizard’ though it’s not the same thing, and even if I find the ‘Execute Package Utility’ quite easy to use, I can’t say I’m a fan of it. I wonder which Microsoft’s plans are for the future…

    It seems there are even more surprises from Microsoft that could come with SQL Server R2, for example "using SSIS package as a data source for SSRS report datasets" [2], even if the respective feature is a non-production feature, what happens with the customers that already built their solutions on it?! Of course, Microsoft doesn’t recommend the use of non-standard features as they might not be supported on upper versions, but you know developers, why reinvent the wheel when there is already some functionality for that purpose! 

    I would expect that more such issues will be discovered once developers start to play with VS 2010 and the coming SQL Server 2008 R2.

[1] Microsoft Connect. (2010). SSIS VS2010 project type. [Online] Available from: https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/details/508552/ssis-vs2010-project-type (Accessed: 19 February 2010)
[2] Siddhumehta. (2010). SSIS Package not supported as a data source in SQL Server Reporting Services ( SSRS ) 2008 R2. [Online] Available from: http://siddhumehta.blogspot.com/2010/02/ssis-package-not-supported-as-data.html (Accessed: 19 February 2010)

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