First Release of SSDT Power Tools

First Release of SSDT Power Tools

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I am pleased to announce the first release of SSDT Power Tools. The SSDT team will be leveraging Power Tools as a mechanism to deliver new functionality and experiences through frequent updates, of which this is the first example. In this first iteration, we focused on addressing the feedback that SSDT does not offer the equivalent of the Schema View tool window found in the Visual Studio 2010 Database Project. This release of the SSDT Power Tools will add the Schema View capabilities back by extending the SQL Server Object Explorer, providing a logical view over the schema hosted inside your projects.

Edit: SSDT Power Tools are no longer available via the links below, but have been integrated into the core SSDT product in the December 2012 release (

What can it do?

After the Power Tools are installed, you'll notice a new node named “Projects” inside the SQL Server Object Explorer. You can use this tree to navigate your schema, edit objects, refactor them, and add new objects.  

What's next?

There are several features in the Visual Studio 2010 Schema View version that are not included in this release: 

  • Group by Schema: The tool only has top-level folders for object types. We plan on adding the option to the SQL Server Object Explorer in general, in order to group objects by schema, then object type
  • Filtering Built-In Objects and External Objects: Checkboxes to filter out built-in and external objects from the tree
  • Auto-refresh: Detect drift from project and refresh the tree automatically.


We plan on addressing these features to complete the experience in a future update.


Send us feedback!

We're actively prioritizing our plans and adding new ideas based on your suggestions and feedback.  Please let us know what you think via the "Q and A" tab of our gallery page or on our team forum.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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  • Hi Janet,

    I understand (rightly or wrongly) that SSDT is the replacement for BIDS for SQL 2012 and have just installed this. If this is the case can you please point me to how I can edit rdl and rdlc files from within Visual Studio 2010 and import MS Access reports.

    I can't find anything that resembles a BIDS reporting project for editing rdl reports.

    BTW can SSDT be installed into Visual Studio 11?



  • Hi Simon,

    Actually SSDT doesn't include any BIDs components.  Following up with the appropriate team (Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Integration Services) via their forum or msdn page would be the best way to answer you questions about these kinds of services.

    SSDT is available for Visual Studio 11, in fact it ships in the box.  You can download it now in the Visual Studio 11 Beta.

    -Janet Yeilding

  • Thanks for the clarification Janet, I will do that.

    Cheers Simon

  • I installed it successfully, opened VS2010 pro, but could not find the "SQL Server Object Explorer". Where is it?

  • Hi Janet,

    I have done some more digging and am more confused than ever. This documentation (and many others) :  expressly states that SSDT is where report editing tools are to be found:

    "Use the information in this topic to design reports and related items for a single reporting project in a SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) solution. For more information about solutions and multiple projects in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), see Reporting Services in SQL Server Data Tools (SSRS)."

    The forums all appear to be unofficial friendly help, where as I am trying to find and authoritative answer.

    Given that the SSDT docs say report editing is in the SSDT domain, could you point me to someone who can help clear this up as I have a major reporting revamp to get underway.

    Thanks in advance.


  • @Simon: I believe BIDS is not automatically in SSDT. However, when you install the client tools using the SQL Server 2012 set-up, the BIDS components are added to SSDT.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  • Hi Janet,

    great tools, thanks for the release! Especially that it was on time as mentioned on SQLBits on Saturday.

    Is there a plan to implement an option which would allow the user to change localdb to a locally installed database server instance? Eg. I have SQL2012 installed on my workstation and we have a shared dev server. If I could test my changes before cheking in to TFS on my local SQL2012 instance that would be great. Or am I missing something and it's already there? :)



  • It sounds from your description as though a tool has been created that lets me see my objects under object explorer. Couldn't I do that already? What additional functionality does it provide? Can you post some details about the benefits? Thanks.

  • To Simon, (2 Apr 2012 11:11)

    I can see my tools here File->New Project->Business Intelligence



  • Hi Janet,

    You say:

    "You can use this tree to ... add new objects"

    That is true up to a point. I can add new tables and procedures but there are some thing I can't add. For example, I want to create a default constraint by right-clicking on the "Constraints" folder underneath a table but there is no option on the right-click menu to do that.

    I'll make sure I feed this back through the proper channels.



  • @Simon At one time, SSDT was used as umbrella term for the SSDT database projects and former BIDS projects, but at this point the SSDT term just refers to the database projects component.   I'll follow up to see that the documentation you mentioned is updated.  SSRS, SSIS, SSAS projects are not included in the SSDT download but as Koen mentions, there are launch points to include them during SQL Server 2012 setup.  I'd suggest as a starting point for SSRS information.

    @Bydia Make sure that SSDT is installed, as it's a prerequisite for the Power Tools.   (SSDT download link:    There should be a top-level entry for SQL Server Object Explorer on the View menu.

    @Janos Yes, you can connect to a local database instance via SQL Server Object Explorer by right-clicking and selecting Add SQL Server.  You can also deploy to such a database from the project system via  project Properties -> Deploy tab -> Target Database Settings

    @Greg Schema View exists for VS2010 Database Projects, but  SSDT was missing a similar tool.  This is new functionality for SSDT aimed at achieving parity with the VS2010 Database Projects offering.

    @Jamie We saw your post along these lines on the forum and Sam will follow up with you there.

  • Can we view this essentially as an incubation for "SSDT proper"?  Will these features migrate over to the main SSDT as they mature?  It would be nice to minimize the number of separate things that need to be installed, while still providing for regular updates.

  • Hi James

    I would look at the power tools a little differently.  Some of the things may make it in to SSDT proper, but some won't.

    Among our goals:

    We're hoping to be able to address some feedback and tactical more quickly in the form of previews.

    Some of these are experiments... we're looking for feedback  around experience, workflow, and value. These may feed in to larger SSDT experiences later.

    Some of the things we'll be doing are niche solutions that will probably remain as power tools forever.

    (As you said) We want to provide you with more regular updates

    Hope that helps.

  • In case it makes any difference....I'm OK with new features being delivered on a more regular cadence via Power Tools (assuming that the installation is hassle-free). If it means new features get delivered into SSOX before the next version of SSDT - that's great.

    The only situation where I don't like Power Tools is where they are meant to work with a server component and as soon as one client has the Power Tools - they all need them (*cough* TFS *cough*).

  • Hi Janet,

    You said: "At one time, SSDT was used as umbrella term for the SSDT database projects and former BIDS projects, but at this point the SSDT term just refers to the database projects component.   I'll follow up to see that the documentation you mentioned is updated."

    You'll have to do more than change the documentation. You'll have to change the SQL Server Installer too:

    There does seem to be some confusion even within different parts of Microsoft of what is meant by "SSDT":


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