Incremental Deployments using Visual Studio Database Edition GDR

January 20, 2009 at 2:57 pm (Tools, Visual Studio) (, )

I’m stuck.

I’ve been advocating that our company use composite projects for our deployments using the VSTSDBE GDR (Visual Studio Team System Database Edition, General Distribution Release for those not instantly geeky).  In a nutshell, VSTSDBE offers two mechanisms for deployment across multiple environments. Both of these work wonderfully well for automation when you are doing a full tear-down and rebuild. When you’re doing incremental deployments, they both fail.

Option 1: Use SQL Command variables to set environment specific variables such as file location, etc., and post-deployment scripts to set security. This works. It’s the method we used prior to the GDR. Unfortunately, security and other environment specific information is hidden inside scripts rather than visible to a given configuration directly within the VS interface.

Option 2: Create a composite project. It stores the common objects, the stuff on it’s way to production, in one project, and the environment specific stuff, such as security, in a second project. Some of the Micrsoft guys are even suggesting this approach. You can then store everything inside of configurations and in project objects, visible to the VS gui, easy to maintain, easy to build…

Ah, but there’s the rub. Easy to build when you’re rebuilding every time. Incremental changes require a database comparison between the project and the database. Ah, but which project. In a composite environment, it has to deploy each project independently. What happens when a change requires a data loss? You have to create that script manually. Fine, but how do you now get it into the rest of the build in an automated fashion?

I’m stuck.

I finally punted and posted it on the MSDN Forums.

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Finally, the GDR is Released

December 1, 2008 at 2:17 pm (Visual Studio) (, , , )

From the Data Dude himself.

This is great news. I’ve been working with the CTP’s for several months now, telling the other DBA’s on my team that they had to wait until it was completely ready for release. It’s been a long wait, but I’m sure it’s worth it.

My congratulations to the team. I met several of you at the PASS Summit. I really apreciate the work you’ve put into this great tool. It really makes a difference in how we develop and deploy databases. The changes in the GDR are making a great utility even better.  Thanks Mr. Drapers. Thanks also to Jamie Laflen, especially for helping validate some of the ideas I presented at PASS. Thanks to all the rest of the team, whose names I don’t recall, especially the guy who took so long to explain to me what the “literal” was for in the reference page. Excellent work everyone. You guys should be proud.

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