SQL Server Data Tools in SQL Server 2014I’ve seen this question a few times and it is something that can be very confusing: You’ve installed SQL 2014 (a full version, not Express) and selected all components, yet when you go to your SQL Server 2014 program group, you can’t find SQL Server Data Tools.

In all versions of SQL Server between 2005 and 2012, the IDE for Business Intelligence projects has been included as part of the SQL Server installation. Based on Visual Studio, it gives you the ability to create BI projects in the Visual Studio Environment. In SQL Server versions 2005 through 2008 R2, it was called Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS). In SQL Server 2012 it was renamed to SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) but was basically the same thing.

For some inexplicable reason, in SQL Server 2014 Microsoft decided not to include SSDT as part of the normal SQL Server installation. It is now a separate download. What is even more confusing is that there are different downloads depending on what you already have. If you go to the SQL Server Data Tools download page on MSDN, there are several options for you to choose from.

If you have Visual Studio 2013

SQL Server tooling in Visual Studio 2013 – all the great database tools, now acquisition and updates are fully integrated in Express for Web, Express for Windows Desktop, Professional, Premium, and Ultimate. Since SQL Server tooling is included in VS, the updates will be pushed through VS Update and users will be prompted when VS is open. If you’d like to check for updates manually, open Visual Studio 2013 and choose the Tools > Extensions and Updates menu. SQL Server tooling updates will appear in the Updates list.

Download Visual Studio 2013 with SQL Server Tooling

What is confusing is that from the download page the link sends you to, there is no mention of SSDT. You can download the various versions of Visual Studio Express or a 90-day trial of the full version of Visual Studio, but this still doesn’t get you SSDT. You have to add SQL Server tooling via VS Update. So if you don’t already have Visual Studio 2013, keep reading.

If you have Visual Studio 2012

SSDT Visual Studio 2012 – provides a stand alone install experience as well as full integration into the Visual Studio Professional, Premium, and Ultimate SKUs. We are publishing the release through this page and the update feed.

Download SSDT for Visual Studio 2012

This link leads you to a download which allows you to add SSDT to Visual Studio 2012.

If you don’t have Visual Studio at all or have an older version

SSDT-BI, SQL Server Business Intelligence is a distinct toolset from SSDT or the SQL Server database tooling in Visual Studio 2013. As part of the SQL Server 2014 release, SSDT-BI has released a version for Visual Studio 2013. For details, visit the AS team blog. For support of SSDT-BI, please post to their blog or AS forums.

Download SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2012

Download SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2013

This is the option that most SQL Server DBAs and developers are going to need to download and install. If you don’t have a licensed copy of Visual Studio 2012 or 2013 this is what you need.

Still Confused?

Just download SSDT-BI and be done with it. If you already have Visual Studio 2013 but don’t have the BI projects, they’ll be added. If you don’t have Visual Studio 2013, you’ll get the SSDT version of it with just the BI projects.