Visual Studio 2012 does not support BI

UPDATE 3/6/13: VS 2012 now supports BI!  Check out Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2012

In the same vein as my post Watch out, Visual Studio 2010 does not support BI, Visual Studio 2012 does not support BI.  Meaning, VS 2012 does not support SSAS, SSIS, or SSRS.  If you try to open one of those projects, you will be greeted with:

At least this is better than opening them and converting them to an unusable format, which is what happens when you try to open a VS 2008 BI project in VS 2010.

So, for now, to work with SSAS, SSIS, and SSRS projects you must use SSDT, which uses the Visual Studio 2010 shell.  Hopefully, there will be an update to SSDT in the next few months that uses the Visual Studio 2012 shell, without having to wait until the next version of SQL Server.  Note you can install SSDT/VS 2010 and VS 2012 on the same computer without any problems.

To see the projects that Visual Studio 2012 supports, check out Visual Studio 2012 RC Compatibility.

About James Serra

James is a big data and data warehousing solution architect at Microsoft. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 25 years of IT experience.
This entry was posted in Business Intelligence, SQL Server, SQLServerPedia Syndication, SSAS, SSDT/Juneau, SSIS, SSRS, Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio 2012. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Visual Studio 2012 does not support BI

  1. Rohan Cragg says:

    Microsoft’s Senior Program Lead for SQL Server BI, Julie Strauss, has confirmed that ‘we are working on it’…

  2. AaronLS says:

    This has almost always been the case. When BIDS is released, they are not aiming for compatibility with VS. They are using it as a shell. Thus they use whichever VS shell is complete whenever they are developing the next version of BIDS, not the other way around. What is important is that BIDS have compatibility.

    You shouldn’t need to open BI projects in a different version of VS, because if you installed BIDS properly, it should select the VS shell they are compatible with.

    Other front end projects in VS 2012, like a MVC or desktop app, can still utilize and connect to instances of SSRS and SSAS of any version. Just because the BIDS projects were managed in VS 2010 doesn’t mean they aren’t compatible.

    I agree it is a bit confusing and annoying, but if you think about it from their standpoint, they are just leveraging the VS shell as a IDE framework, and the appropriate shell is installed with BIDS.

    • AaronLS says:

      “What is important is that BIDS have compatibility.” should have read “What is important is that BIDS have compatibility with the version of SQL Server they target.”

    • James Serra says:

      I agree with you Aaron. Unfortunately many people assume that a SSAS/SSIS/SSRS project can be opened in any new version of VS. Hopefully my post and your comments will help to clear things up.

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    • James Serra says:

      Hi Rob,

      Unfortunately the SSDT update does not include updates to the Business Intelligence templates (SSAS/SSIS/SSRS), so those still only work with Visual Studio 2010.

  4. David says:

    Hi James,

    I don’t know if you can answer this or not… I’m a rookie when it comes to Microsoft’s development programs and I’m not a developer. However, my company has recently begun using Dynamic CRM 2011. Its been recommended to me to use BIDS (via VS 2008) to create customer reports.

    The problem I’m running into right now is, I’m not sure if I want to have 2008 & 2010/2012 running side by side just to use BIDS… I don’t know if I can procure a copy of 2008 at this point in order to get BIDS.

    After reading a couple of your blogs, and some other recent articles and announcements, I’m wondering whether I would be just as well if I got VS 2010 and the SSDT program. Although you brought up the confusion surrounding SSDT’s name… it sounds like, if installed properly, I would indeed get the reporting portion I need.

    Is VS2012+SSDT a suitable replacement for VS2008+BIDS? Keep in mind this is a new install… so I have no historical BIDS projects (.rdl or .rdlc) to worry about becoming corrupt or losing function. If I’m starting from scratch… what do you recommend for BI SSRS?

    Thanks so much!

    • James Serra says:

      Hi Dave,

      I recommend going with VS2010+SSDT instead of VS2008+SSDT. You will be fine, especially since you are starting from scratch.

      • David says:

        Hi James,

        Does your latest post about SQL SSDT (November 2012 Update) mean that VS2012 now supports the SSDT portion that would equate back to the original 2008 BIDS?

        I know the original BIDS extensions (.rdl, .rdlc) weren’t supported by VS2010 + SSDT… but, can we now use SSDT with 2012 for business reporting (aka CRM customer reports)? Does it recognize the older BIDS extensions?


  5. Arthur says:

    While we wait for the realignment, why not to open a suggestion on the MS Connect site?

    • James Serra says:

      Hi Arthur,

      I have been in touch with Microsoft on this, and the word is they are working on it and the BI templates for VS 2012 will be available in the next couple of months.

  6. Niks says:

    Hi James,
    I have to convert ssrs project in vs 2012 and i don’t want to use VS2010+SSDT
    because i want to convert it in .NET 4.5.
    So How do I get the Business Intelligence templates into Visual Studio 2012?

  7. Hii James, Do notify us on your blog whenever those templates are available.
    Thank you

  8. Michael says:

    I am working on a new project at my company and trying to push the team to start using SSDT. The fact that we can’t develop all of the database functionality in VS 2012 (which is currently our standard) is an issue. Please do let us know when SSIS/SSAS/SSRS templates for Visual Studio 2012 become available. Thank you!

    • AaronLS says:

      @Michael, Do you do your DB development in SSMS currently? If so then I would make the case that you are still going outside of VS 2012 to do the DB development, whether it’s SSMS or SSDT, but you gain all the benefits of using SSDT still. The SSDT project doesn’t need to be in VS 2012, as it is not a compilation artifact of your application. VS 2010 is merely the shell. IMO having it in VS 2012 would only have a minor convenience of not having to have the VS 2010 shell. It is likely always going to be the case that SQL Server lags behind the VS shells to some extent, because they can’t really develop against the shell until it is complete. It would be like someone asking you to develop an app in Windows 9 when it isn’t even available. My point being, even when they get VS 2012 support in, there will probably be future versions that will likely have the same issue for periods where the most current VS is not supported. Will your team drop usage of SSDT during those periods just because the DB project is in a different shell? Your app developed in 2012 is perfectly compatible with SSDT projects developed in VS 2010. They both can target SQL Server 2012.

      I want to reiterate, that I agree that it is annoying to have to have two VS shells of different versions, but once you get over that annoyance, it is a minor thing compared to all the benefits of SSDT-DB projects.

      • Michael says:

        Aaron, thank you for commenting. I now better understand the reasons for the “delay” in having VS 2012 support. I agree that the benefits outweigh the inconvenience. It’s just that ideally I would like to have a single solution, which includes my database schema and code as well as any related SSIS packages, SSRS reports, etc. Looks like this will have to wait until everything is available in one place.

      • nojetlag says:

        Hi Aaron, if I remember correctly they used to be able to have it compatible with VS2008 and SQL 2008, from there it went downhill. How can you explain somebody that SSRS/SSAS/SSIS projects don’t work in VS2012, however SQL2012 DB projects do. Normally we have different project types in a solution, so all above mentioned and for example a web service and an WPF project as well. If I open this in VS2012, afterwards I can’t open it in VS2010 for the SSRS projects anymore, or did I miss something here ? Consider this with a big group of developers that all use TFS, having one VS version for all makes things much much easier and it is absolutely not understandable for me that MSFT can’t get this at least in sync soon after the release. Or one naively would assume that the product release cycles are better synched from the start on.

        • Aaron Shumaker says:

          “How can you explain somebody that SSRS/SSAS/SSIS projects don’t work in VS2012, however SQL2012 DB projects do.”

          I can assume since DB projects are used more often with database applications, then they made VS2012 integration a priority so that you could have your front end application projects(web/desktop .NET) in the same solution as your DB project.

          It is quite annoying, and I wish they would go through the effort to coordinate releases, but that could significantly delay one release or the other as they wait for the other to get to production, and also significantly complicates beta/candidate releases. Trying to develop one product against another product that isn’t even finished yet is very difficult! Imagine that someone hired you to write an IDE for there next iteration of their development tools in 2015. They want you to use VS 2015 as the shell. So two years ahead you start working on it, how do you use the VS 2015 shell when it hasn’t been released yet?

          I don’t know how much work would be involved in them doing another update after the fact to bring the support in sync, but I imagine shell integration is fairly complicated.

          There was a time when many SQL tools were not even available in Visual Studio at all. They are making alot of progress in this area. Maybe once they’ve “caught up” on bringing all the SSMS features into VS, then they can focus on figuring out how they can coordinate releases.

          • James Serra says:

            Good points Aaron. Let’s hope in the future when a new version of VS comes out, the support for SSRS/SSAS/SSIS comes out right after. I have updated this blog to point out that VS 2012 now supports BI. It took 8 months, but at least it was quicker than being able to use BI in VS 2010, which took about two years.

        • Aaron Shumaker says:

          Also, keep BIDS projects in a seperate solution, and if you find a solution checked in to TFS that won’t load the projects anymore, then look in the history to see who checked it in like that, then ask them “Why did you check-in a solution that had unloaded projects?” When it happens accidentally, they shouldn’t be doing a check-in, but instead just do a undo checkout on the solution files(but not any they’ve changed intentionally so not to loose work).

  9. KarenL says:

    After reading many blog comments and forum responses, I am still confused. I am a developer that is working old classic ASP applications and developing new .Net applications using C#. The old applications had SSRS/BI reports created using SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008. I need to be able to work with these rdl files as well as create new reports using BI. My environment is SQL Server 2008 R2 and I can work with either VS 2010 or 2012. My work desktop’s OS is XP. I keep reading that BI will be integrated into VS 2012 but this was also said about VS 2010 and it never happened. I also read that I might be able to use SSDT (which I think will let me create new reports) with VS 2010. However, it doesn’t appear that I can add the most recent SSDT update with XP. I would prefer to only work with one version of VS and unfortunately, I have no say in my OS or the version of SQL Server that I can work with. I have to go with what the client has installed.
    Is there a way for me to work with and create new BI rdl files with VS 2010 and using SQL Server 2008? If not, is there a firm date for the integration of BI into VS 2012? If so, I am not sure how to find out if it will work with SQL Server 2008.
    Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Hi James,

    Just letting you know that SSDT for BI in Visual Studio 2012 is now available for download here:

    The download size is around 782MB (I am downloading now and can’t wait to play round with it!)

    Kind regards,

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  13. Pedro says:

    I James,

    I ave one question…I saw that in BIDS we had a Report Data Model on Visual studio 2008. after to upgrade to VS 2010 we dont have that option can you tell me if theres is another option tu se data model on reports? Thks

  14. Drew Morris says:

    Hi James,
    This blog is a real contribution. So thanks!

    Not sure I thoroughly understand all of the foregoing, but what I’m trying to do should be simple: open a BIDS (2008) SSIS pack in Visual Studio 2010 Shell (the “SQL Server Data Tools”). I get the message “Invalid license key. Reinstall is required.”

    Is this the problem that others, above, seem to have as well?
    Is there a fix? A workaround?

    Thanks in advance, and all the best,

  15. Drew Morris says:

    I vaguely recalled that there was something called the package upgrade wizard, which I used, with slight success (1 of the 6 packages converted, and the successful one doesn’t look very good, either.

    But again, thank you James, for this blog!

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