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What's Next for Data Dude?

Remember Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Professional, also known as "Data Dude," which got rolled up in Visual Studio 2010? Microsoft provided an update on the latest evolution of Data Dude at its 2011 SQL PASS Summit last week.

With the release of SQL Server 2012 ("Denali"), Data Dude in Visual Studio 2010 is essentially replaced by SQL Server Developer Tools (codenamed "Juneau"). Microsoft announced last week that SQL Server Developer Tools is now named SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). SQL Server Data Tools with SQL Server 2012 is integrated with the Visual Studio shell, according to Microsoft, and can function as a standalone environment for DBAs for example, or used with Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Professional. That means that developers can work on database projects alongside application development projects in Visual Studio.

With the upcoming Visual Studio 11, SQL Server Data Tools will replace Visual Studio Database Projects with SQL Server Database Projects. However, some "Data Dude" features such as data generation and database unit testing are not part of SSDT. The tools, at least in the first public preview, also do not support Entity Framework, which is on the product roadmap, according to Microsoft.

Announced in November 2010 at PASS, SQL Server Data Tools is designed to help developers and DBAs migrate schemas and maintain hybrid database environments. The tooling targets on-premise SQL Server 2005 and up, as well as SQL Azure cloud services.

SQL Server Data Tools is expected to ship as a free component alongside SQL Server 2012, which is slated for release in the first half of next year. Microsoft released the first public SSDT Community Technology Preview (CTP3) in July. CTP4 is expected in Q4 2011. After the SQL Server 2012 RTM, the SQL Server Data Tools will be updated in conjunction with SQL Azure services, according to Microsoft, which is roughly every 4 to 6 months.

Factions within Microsoft have toyed with the idea of merging SQL Server Management Studio and Visual Studio over the years, but the management tool will remain separate with the 2012 release. SQL Server Management Studio has been integrated with the Visual Studio shell since the release of SQL Server 2005, and Microsoft introduced more Visual Studio functionality such as IntelliSense for stored procedures in the management tool with SQL Server 2008.

If you haven't checked out the tooling, you can download SQL Server Data Tools CTP3 here. You can also get a glimpse of what's coming in the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview.

The impact of data and how businesses can leverage it is the major theme of the Web 2.0 Summit 2011 in San Francisco this week. Express your thoughts on Microsoft's approach to SQL Server development. Is this the end of the line for Data Dude? Drop me a line at krichards@1105media.com.

Posted by Kathleen Richards on 10/18/2011 at 12:54 PM

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