BI Visual Studio

Odd installation of SSDT BI on x64 bit system

Visual Studio 2008 full installation had always included Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) with it. But for whatever reasons MSFT decided to skip that part in VS 2010(may be because there was no major release SQL Server during that time) and it was missing for very long time till release of next major SQL Server release aka.. SQL Server 2012. Even at that point there was no BIDS or similar tool set available in VS 2010/12 till MSFT released SQL Server Data Tools BI Studio for VS 2012.

So after I got VS 2013 edition installed on my system I was trying to install SSDT BI for VS 2013 so I can play with it on my new VS. But to my surprise, when I started installation it failed on a step where it check for pre-requisites with error about having different architecture which is understandable since I am using x64 bit system. So I looked for 64bit installation for SSDT BI and found that there is no such installation !!

Bugs Visual Studio

Odd Database Project issue with VS 2010

Recently I stumbled upon really weird issue with VS 2010. We have bunch of database projects created in VS 2010 which are part of our regular development build. As part of my task, I was trying to automate deployment of these database projects using PowerShell and came across really really strange issue that I have never seen before.

I was simply checking out database project from our source control and using MSBUILD (aka MSFT Build Engine) to build and deploy the database project to my test SQL Server instances. Ideally what it does is it allows me to deploy that database at instance that I wish with database name of my selection. But with my surprise when I built and tried to deploy the project I was welcomed with this error …


Installer Visual Studio

Creating custom “Prerequisites” for installation

If you have ever installed any software in your machine, you know what I am talking about. A textbook meaning of Prerequisite is

“A thing required as a prior condition for something else to happen”

It case of software it usually means that to run some piece of software it need to have something else present already, it can be either another software or a hardware. For any application developed in .NET has first prerequisite is … to have .NET framework already installed on that machine !! And if you have created any installer for your application then you know that this prerequisite is automatically handled by installer itself but what if your application has special requirement of its own, that needs to be satisfied to make application work properly ? At first glance it looks like that you have to write some sort of funny code to handle this situation … but it is not entirely true. Writing some kind of code and include it in your installer via dll is one way to do that but there is more easy and a bit forgotten solution available …which requires less effort compared to first option …. it is Bootstrap Manifest Generator for Visual Studio 2008, despite of its age, this piece of application still works very well for VS2010 .. and I hope that it will work with as well.

This software creates a manifest file for a any software that you want to use as a prerequisite and then you can use this manifest file to include that item in your installer’s prerequisite list. For this post … say I have an application which requires to have Firefox web browser already installed on a machine where I will be installing my application ! Now in real life it will be very very strange requirement for any application, but just bare with me this one Smile … ok ? Just like any good application installer, I will want to include setup of Firefox with my main MSI and if Firefox doesn’t exist on a machine then have it run before main installation starts. Available prerequisites for an application can be selected by going into Installation Project Property –> Prerequisites –> and then select what ever you want to have as a prerequisite … say .NET framework, Windows Installer, VC++ runtimes etc. But here you will see that Firefox doesn’t exist as an option to include as prerequisite. This is when Bootstrap Manifest Generator (from now on I will just call it BMG) comes in play. And in rest of post I will show how BMG can be used to add custom prerequisites for your installation project.

Installer Visual Studio

Installation Project in Visual Studio … Installer 101

During past couple of weeks I was greatly involved in process of creating MSIs for our new products. The ultimate goal was (still is) to improve overall installation experience of customers. During this time I mainly tinkered with one the project type in VS which I had never ever used before, that was “Visual Studio Installer” projects. Believe it or not VS has really neat ability to create fairly complex installation packages (MSIs). But for this post, I will be creating very simple MSI which just installs one text file into installation directory (I am saving more complex setups for later posts Smile)…


.NET How To Visual Studio

Creating MSI installer for Application

Recently I was tasked to create MSI installer for our current application which is in development phase. While browsing project types in VS, I had known that VS has ability to create installer using Install Shield, but that was pretty much of it. I have never worked with them before. But after working with windows installation project for few days, it looks pretty straight forward process to me. I mean of course, we can customize installer anyway we want and it can get pretty complex subject, but out requirement was not so fancy (at least at this moment Fingers crossed) so I am overall enjoying working with it.

For this demo I have created a very simple console application in C# and I am creating installer for that app. This installer will allow user to install that app to any location, just like any other app. And this application is targeted for only 32bit machines. This console application basically runs in a loop until user quits it, with each loop it displays two random number and user is required to add them (I know its pretty basic app .. but this demo is for installer not for some fancy app Smile). I am actually following old MSDN walkthrough which explains step-by-step process to create MSI installer.

First, I have created a console application project “Installer Demo”. Like below.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;

namespace InstallerDemo
class Program
static void Main(string[] args)
char cont;
Random r = new Random();
int i = r.Next(1, 10);
Console.WriteLine("First Number: {0}", i);
int j = r.Next(1, 10);
Console.WriteLine("Second Number: {0}", j);
Console.Write("Total is: ");
int k = i + j;
var l = Console.ReadLine();
Console.WriteLine(k == Convert.ToInt32(l) ? "True" : "False");
Console.WriteLine("Another Addition ?? Y/N");
cont = Convert.ToChar(Console.ReadLine());
} while (cont == ‘Y’ | cont == ‘y’);




Reporting SSRS Visual Studio

Developing reports in BIDS using Report Wizard

In my last two posts about reports, I explained how can we develop & deploy reports using Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS). But I think that even though I titled it as 101, it was not as easy as it sounds. Because there is even easier way exists to create a report that is by using Report Wizard. This wizard guides user at every step and they can create simple report with few clicks and even without being much “expert” at it. In today’s post, I will explain how can we use Report Wizard to create report.

Before doing anything, we need to create new reporting project from BIDS section of VS 2008. And select Report Server Project Wizard. Once we enter name and location of project and clicks OK, a wizard appear and thus our journey begins.

NewProject ReportWizard_1

First step is to create datasource for our report, which is basically connection to database.

Bugs SQL Server Visual Studio

Intellisense in SQL Server 2008 r2 management studio

This quick post is about my recent experience with SSMS for SQL Server 2008 r2. Usually I use some other 3rd party tool for SQL Server Development because it is sort of more easier to use when we are developing (but that tool is not good at all when it comes to managing SQL Server).

If you are a developer like me who is required to work with application but mostly deals with database … and you happen to use SSMS for SQL Server 2008 R2 then you might already have noticed that you have … hmm.. sort of lost … intellisense in SSMS (or SQL Server Management Studio, a default tool for interaction with SQL Server) after installing Visual Studio 2010 SP1 updated. This is really weird issue. I / We generally when release an update for our application we make sure that for any reasons our other applications that are using that one application doesn’t lose some functionality. And I don’t understand how come guys at such a professional company like MSFT don’t understand this common app release / testing process ??