Getting Started with the SQL Server Modeling CTP (SetupApplication Tutorial)

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This tutorial demonstrates how to write a data model in Microsoft code name “M” and then deploy the model to a SQL Server 2008 database. After the model is in the database, applications can read and update model instances to drive application behavior or analyze the model by directly querying the model instance data.

This tutorial describes how to create setup applications using modeling. It is common for an organization to create many Windows Installer (.msi) files. It can be difficult to generate reports about those setup applications to understand details such as the number of files installed or the content of those files. This information can be manually recorded at the time of the setup creation, but that can result in inaccuracies; in addition, predicting the exact information to capture for the future is difficult.

This tutorial creates a model of a setup application. A separate custom application, Repinst.exe, reads instances of this model in the database. It uses those instances to dynamically create .msi files and install them. The fact that the application uses the setup model to create the setup application ensures that any analysis queries against the setup model return accurate data.

To implement the Repinst.exe application, this tutorial uses an open-source tool, the Windows Installer XML (WiX) toolset. WiX creates .msi files from XML definitions. For more information about using and obtaining the WiX v3 toolset, see Windows Installer XML (WiX) toolset.


To follow the steps in this tutorial, you must first install SQL Server Modeling CTP, which includes “M”, SQL Server Modeling Services, and Microsoft code name “Quadrant”.

In This Section

This tutorial is separated into three sections.

Creating and Using the SetupApplication Model

Describes how to use Visual Studio 2010 to write a model of a setup application and install that model into an empty SQL Server 2008 database.

Using Quadrant with the SetupApplication Model

Describes how to use Quadrant to view and edit instances of the SetupApplication model.

Adding Modeling Services Patterns to the SetupApplication Model

Describes how to modify the SetupApplication model to support common SQL Server Modeling Services patterns. You use the PatternApplication sample to apply those patterns.

See Also

Other Resources

"M" Overview
"Oslo" Repository Overview