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Releasing SSDT with Visual Studio “15” Preview 4 and introducing SSDT MSBuild NuGet package


Today marks the release of Visual Studio “15” Preview 4. The SQL Server Data Tools team is happy to announce support for the relational database set of SQL tools – SQL Projects, Schema Compare, Data Compare, and SQL Server Object Explorer - in this Visual Studio release.

This release includes a great number of new feature innovations and improvements across the Visual Studio suite. We would like to point out two new features relevant to SSDT users:

  • The Data Storage and Processing workload shipped with the new Visual Studio installer
  • The new SSDT MSBuild NuGet package, which makes setting up CI/CD of SQL Projects a breeze


Data Storage and Processing in Visual Studio “15”

The new Visual Studio installer is designed to:

  • Reduce the minimum footprint of Visual Studio.
  • Install more quickly with less system impact, and uninstall cleanly.
  • Make it easier for you to select and install just the features you need.

When you first install Visual Studio Preview 4, you'll see the new experience:


Instead of needing a 6GB+ install of Visual Studio to get the full functionality of SQL Server Data Tools, you can simply select and install just the  “Data storage and processing” workload. This workload is only 934 MB. We're eager for you to try this out and looking forward to receiving your feedback.


Simplified CI/CD with the SSDT MSBuild NuGet package: NuGetIcon MsbuildNuGet

We are very pleased to announce the release of Microsoft.Data.Tools.Msbuild  NuGet package. This packages contains the minimum set of components including DAC Framework, SSDT build targets and sqlpackage.exe. You will no longer need a full installation of Visual Studio to build and deploy your database projects. All you need are the Microsoft MSBuild tools and Microsoft.Data.Tools.Msbuild NuGet package installed on your build agent.

Here are the key benefits:

  • Super lightweight installation
  • Easy update of the SSDT MSBuild package on your machine – just use the standard NuGet update processes
  • Isolated build process makes it easy to maintain. There are no globally shared dependencies with any GAC’d (Global Assembly Cache) components

How to use and install the MSBuild package

.NET Framework 4.6 is required to install the MSBuild package. You can use the Microsoft.Data.Tools.Msbuild package with any version of MSBuild, from version 14.0 update 3 up to the latest 15.0 version (installed with Visual Studio “15”).

  • Note: to try out the latest MSBuild 15.0 on your build agent, the best way right now is to install the core Visual Studio with no workloads installed – it is extremely quick and easy to set up.

For instructions on how to configure your machine, please refer to this post: Part 5. Use your own Build and Deployment Agent.