Interested if anyone has used VSTS Database Edition extensively and, if so, which features did you find the most useful over the standard Visual Studio database projects?
What are the most compelling features as opposed to alternative schema management options or tools like RedGate's SqlCompare etc?
Has anyone had a chance to do any real work with the GDR? It looks like there are some real enhancements including refactoring support. I'd be really interested to hear if people are using it with SQL Server 2008...
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As Vaibhav said, mostly it is useful because it gives you a one-click way to reverse engineer a database into source control, and keep it up to date..
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Note that it also has decent Data and Schema compare tools as well.
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You can compare projects to physical databases and vice-versa.
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This makes it pretty easy to keep your database up to date, no matter where you make changes -- in the filesystem database project, or in the physical database itself..
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Compared to a tool like Embarcadero ErStudio (my solution of choice) it misses the cross database features, and this is a big problem, at least for me.
If you are a "all Microsoft" shop with the proper MSDN subscription it could be worth spending time on it..
We use a TFS build script to call out to the MSBuild task for deploying the databases along with executing the data generation plans for pre populating the testing environment with data.
. The key with the data generation plans was finding the build task to use which is : .
All of this gdr project work has been unbelievably helpful and I think it is well worth the learning curve to get to know these project types.
TaskName="DataGeneratorTask" AssemblyName="Microsoft.Data.Schema.Tasks, Version=184.108.40.206, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"
The value they provide is astronomical in productivity and visibility.
. It allows us all to view the entire system in a single visual studio solution along with allowing us to start with a clean slate of our system at any point in time with either a click of the deploy command or a custom build configuration.
. This blog will help with getting the TFSBuild script to run if you're interested..
It does live DB and scripts in folders, but also has "snapshots." The aspect of Red-Gate SQL Compare that gives it the win is its Snapshot ability and the fact that your license allows you to deploy their assemblies and use them to perform database maintenance at customer run-time.. It has made upgrades in the COTS application that I develop a breeze.
A Snapshot is a binary schema representation.
You can package them as resources in an assembly, then use the snapshot in a customer run-time schema compare to bring an existing database up to the current rev..
It also provised support for "Database Unit Tests" which might be useful.. From the 2008 GDR, I understand that they now support SQL Server 2008..
That is useful.. The other thing that is really useful is the ability to define type of seed data for testing.
Through this Visual Studio will populate the database with random data and this is great for testing purposes.. There are other benefits as well of course..