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Jamie Thomson

This is the blog of Jamie Thomson, a data mangler in London working for Dunnhumby

SSDT naming confusion cleared up. Somewhat.

In March 2012 I published SSDT - What's in a name? where I lamented the mistakes that Microsoft made in the naming of SQL Server Data Tools.

…official documentation stating that SSDT includes all the stuff for building SSIS/SSAS/SSRS solutions (this is confirmed in the installer, remember) yet someone from Microsoft tells him "SSDT doesn't include any BIDs components".

I have been close to this for a long time (all the way through the CTPs) so I can kind of understand where the confusion stems from. To my understanding SSDT was originally the name of the database dev stuff but eventually that got expanded to include all of the dev tools - I guess not everyone in Microsoft got the memo.

Since then I’ve seen lots of questions pertaining to SSIS/SSAS/SSRS being posted on the SSDT forum on MSDN which, frankly, is the wrong place for them.

With the release of the SSIS/SSAS/SSRS project templates for Visual Studio 2012 Microsoft have attempted to clear up the confusion. Matt Masson from the SSIS product team attempts to explain in his usual jovial way:

note that the component was renamed – we added “Business Intelligence” to the end to distinguish it from the SQL Server Data Tools (Juneau). We now refer to it as SSDTBI, rather than “SSDT, no, not that one, the other one – you know, the one that comes with the SQL installation media, not the one you download”.

So to clarify, its now:

  • SSDT – for building databases
  • SSDTBI – for building SSIS/SSAS/SSRS solutions

Got it? Good!

That may all seem slightly confusing but its a darn sight clearer than it was SQL Server 2012 was released over a year ago. And if nothing else you have to be amused with Microsoft’s penchant for ever-lengthening acronyms, the last six-letter-acronym I can remember seeing was BODMAS!!!


Published Wednesday, April 3, 2013 9:49 AM by jamiet

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Mike Henderson said:

My head is spinning over this name confusion. I have been rather passionate advocate of SSIS and BI tools in general, sometimes in the face of considerable push back from other developers. Other developers in organizations I have worked at view SSIS/SSAS/SSRS as belonging at the kid's table, and not with the grownups. All this name and Visual Studio support confusion has not put me in a very strong position to advocate for SSIS. Which is too bad.


April 3, 2013 7:51 AM

jbooker said:

I think the trouble here arose when the VS team adopted the 'SS' prefix for the database project add-in tools.

How about

VSDT – VS add-in for building database projects and

SSDT – vs shell on SQL media for building SSIS/SSAS/SSRS solutions?  or just go back to BIDS and be done with it.

Maybe we need a new discipline for the science of acronyms.  :|

April 3, 2013 10:31 AM

spud said:

@jbooker - I believe that there's a new MS exam coming out next quarter just for that.

I'm still seeing SSDT called SS Data Tools in some places and SS Developer Tools in others. Not sure I'll take the exam but I may well buy the exam cram from amazon ;)

May 9, 2013 8:08 AM

Jeff said:


May 28, 2013 2:35 PM

Jamie Thomson said:

Microsoft released SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) along with SQL Server 2012 in the Spring of 2012. Since

September 5, 2013 3:01 AM

Jamie Thomson said:

Microsoft released SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) along with SQL Server 2012 in the Spring of 2012. Since

December 2, 2014 8:24 AM

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