Database Project Types in Visual Studio 2010

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I was at Microsoft in Redmond, WA this week for the 2010 MVP Summit.  While I was there, some of us got a chance to do a side discussion with Barclay Hill of the VS Database Project team. 

Barclay pointed out something in Visual Studio 2010’s list of Database project that I hadn’t noticed yet.  Open up Visual Studio 2010 and go to the Create New Project dialog. In the left panel (“Installed Templates”), choose Database.  You should now see the list of projects shown below. 

Ok.  So you’ve got the familiar “DBPro” projects – SQL Server 2005/2008 Database Project, SQL Server 2005/2008 Server Project, the SQL Server 2005/2008 Wizard, SQL CLR Database Project – but what is that SQL Server Data-tier Application?

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Well, that’s a new project type that is just for use with SQL Server 2008 R2 that creates DAC Packs.  DAC stands for Data-tier Application.  (Yah…so, I’m not sure what the “C” in DAC means.  Maybe Data-tier AppliCation?  Weird.)  Anyway, DACs are coming out of the SQL Server team and have similar functionality to what we’ve had for a while in DBPro (aka “Data Dude”) projects.  The idea is that they’ll help you streamline deployment of your database objects from within a Visual Studio solution.  The key takeaway here is that this project type *only* works with SQL Server 2008 R2 databases. 

-Ben


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