Monday, April 11, 2011

TFS & VS 2010 and the Database Developer


I was working at a client last week, giving them an overview of Database Development using Visual Studio 2010 Database Professional (DBPro). They mentioned the TFS Provider for SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and their attempts in trying work with it.

It had been a couple of years since I looked at it last (honestly before DBPro was released). You can download (it’s free) the plug in from here (created by the famous Martin Woodward). I noticed that it had in fact been updated to work with TFS 2010. So I decided to give it a spin.

Firstly I must highlight one of the (in my opinion) less know features in SSMS, you can create and manage projects in pretty much the same way you do in Visual Studio.

After installing the TFS Provider, make sure that SMSS knows that you are using a Source Control plugin. Select Tools | Options. Select “Source Control” and if it has not already updated, change the current plug-in to “Team Foundation Server MSSCCI Provider”.

Team Foundation Server MSSCCI Provider

Now select the File | New | Project menu option and a pretty familiar looking dialog will appear


Once the project has been created open up the “Solution Explorer” ( View | Solution Explorer ) and the project layout is shown


Right click on the “project name” and select Add | New Item. Notice that you start to get the same experience as you would in Visual Studio. You have the ability to add a number of “different” items to the project. Different categories have different templates etc..


And now with the Source Control plugin you can add this “Solution” or “Project” to source control (as you would a Visual Studio Project) and perform source control related check-in’s and outs, view history, compare etc. etc..

Using SSMS you still do use scripts to manage your “database”. If you only have access to Visual Studio 2010 Professional (or not at all) then this is possibly an option to evaluate (you still would need a TFS CAL).

Both SSMS and DBPro use scripts to manage your schema (DBPro has a nice “schema view” that shows you the database schema represented via scripts though), BUT with all the additional functionality that DBPro offers, including database comparisons, unit testing and data generation, I definitely prefer DBPro.


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