Adam Galant is a great guy to know when it comes to Visual Studio Team System… He works in my group in Mississauga on the Developer Tools side of the house and maintains his own blog. I asked him to write up a post specifically about Tem Edition for DB IT Pros in response to a press release and announcment at TechEd next week.

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OK, so this isn’t really news now, it’s been about a week, but in case you haven’t heard, we’ve announced the Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals, which is an addition to the Visual Studio Team System role-based products.

Initially targeting SQL 2000 and SQL 2005, it is designed using an extensible architecture that can eventually be used to add support for other database technologies.
Interestingly, this tool is intended to bridge a big gap: helping dbas and dbpros integrate better into the software development lifecycle, and helping them with some cool new capabilities. I think this tool will probably become the de-facto tool for anyone doing any work with SQL Server  (implementing custom databases).

It is being planned for release later this year (read planned) and will be freely available to folks that have valid and active licenses for Visual Studio Team Suite. Our customers with existing volume licensing agreements may want to step their licenses up to Team Suite before the end of June under a current promotion and save loads of $$ over the estimated retail price.

Some of the things it can do:

  • Database Schema Comparisons
    • Useful for optimizing and evolving database designs
  • Data Compare
    • Compare the data in a current database with another instance, for example, compare the data in the production database vs. the database in development
  • Database Unit Testing
    • Very useful to optimize and validate things like stored procedures.
  • (Test) Data Generator
    • When building a new database, you can pre-populate the database with “meaningful” data so that you can better ensure that when promoted to production, the database will have been properly tested
  • Schema Refactoring
    • During the evolution of a database, you often want to rename certain tables and fields, but that generally has a large impact on code you are writing to access the database. This helps keep these changes in sync. 
  • Work Item and Process Integration with TFS 
    • Basically, the database developer becomes a full team member in TFS, and can attach their relevant artifacts the same way as the other three roles
  • Database Reverse Engineering
    • If you’ve got existing databases, point this at the database and it will reverse engineer it into a database solution in Visual Studio, so that db developers can move the database design forward 
  • Database Deployment 
    • Control the deployment of databases through Visual Studio (using either the Visual Studio IDE, or automatically as part of a solution using Team Build)
      I’m super pumped about these capabilities, as they’ve generally been things that have been difficult to accomplish.

More information can be found that the product site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/teamsystem/products/dbpro/default.aspx .

I’ll also be throwing more information on my blog around tech*ed 2006 timeframe, as we’ll be putting out a CTP…