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Secrets of setting up BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio)

BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio) has obviously gone through changes as newer versions of Microsoft’s SQL Server became available. Recently I had to work on setting up BIDS on some workstations, which were going to be used for development purpose. It didn’t seem complicated, at first. As I was preparing to work on this, it became a bit confusing, if not complicated and had to search a lot to find the right source for installing BIDS.

This is a tool that allows developers to create business solutions. When BIDS is installed, various project types will be available in Visual Studio that are specific to SQL Server Business Intelligence. And just because they’re available in Visual Studio, doesn’t necessarily mean BIDS is installed through Visual Studio. And Visual Studio is not available for free but BIDS is a free tool. So, when you install BIDS an “Integrated Shell for Visual Studio”  will be installed, if you already don’t have Visual Studio installed.

The confusing part is, there are different ways this can be installed and they’re not necessarily consistent across different versions. I feel that you need to know what you’re looking for. Hopefully, this post might point someone to the right direction if you need to install BIDS.

BIDS for SQL Server 2005

One source of installing BIDS 2005 is to use the source of SQL Server 2005 (not Express Edition). However, this is a licensed server application and not everyone will have access to this source. If you do have access to a source of SQL Server 2005, run the installation source and when you are at the section for choosing features, you can specify BIDS, along with other tools to be installed.

If you don’t have access to a copy/source of SQL Server 2005, you can download a standalone installer from Microsoft and install the tool. The installer is named “SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Toolkit“. Note that this is SP3 version, which is compatible with Windows 7.

Once you have the toolkit downloaded, run it on the machine where you need to setup BIDS 2005. Be sure to select “Business Intelligence Development Studio” from the Feature Selection screen and continue with the installation. Once the installation completes successfully, BIDS 2005 will be available in Start Menu.

BIDS for SQL Server 2005 Setup

Feature selection screen from SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Toolkit

BIDS for SQL Server 2008 R2

Similar to BIDS 2005, if you already have a source copy of SQL Server 2008 R2 (not Express edition), you can install BIDS from that source. As that’s not a free software, you may not have access to that source.

You can get a standalone installer from Microsoft Download Centre by visiting the download page for SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 – Express Edition, but there are different types of installers available. Be sure to download SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Advanced (file name: SQLEXPRADV_x86_ENU.exe for 32-bit system and SQLEXPRADV_X64_ENU.exe for 64-bit system). During the install, you’ll have the option to select “Business Intelligence Development Studio” for installation.

BIDS for SQL Server 2010

This is where things started to change. Basically, BIDS is now part of what is called “SSDT (SQL Server Data Tools)“.  The download source for various versions of SSDT is “

According to MSDN article for installing SSDT, if you already have Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium or Ultimate Edition, you can simply install Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio which will add BIDS. That’s a licensed software. What if you don’t have Visual Studio 2010? Can you have a standalone installer for BIDS similar to previous versions? If you go to SQL Server Data Tools Download page, you’ll notice there’s no option for downloading BIDS 2010. Instead you’ll see a suggestion to try SSDT 2012 or SSDT 2013.

SSDT Visual Studio 2010 – We are no longer updating SSDT for Visual Studio 2010. Projects and DACPACs are fully compatible across shells. Please download the toolset for VS2012 or VS2013 using the links above for continued updates.

BIDS for SQL Server 2012

So we now know Microsoft introduced a new set of installer/tools called SSDT starting version 2010. According to the “Installing SSDT” article, you can have SSDT if you have Visual Studio 2012 Professional or higher edition installed. But what if you don’t have Visual Studio 2012 installed due to not having a license? You can try downloading a standalone installer for SSDT, but there are 2 different installer available.

  1. SSDT for Visual Studio 2012
  2. SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2012

You’ll need to download SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2012 and select BIDS from the Feature Selection page of the installation wizard.

BIDS for SQL Server 2012 Setup

Feature selection screen from SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2012

BIDS for SQL Server 2013

Fortunately download and setup of BIDS 2013 hasn’t changed since version 2012. It’s still part of SSDT. You’ll need to download SSDT-BI for Visual Studio 2013 in order to get BIDS for SQL Server 2013

bibidsbusiness intelligencemicrosoftsqlssdttools

pman • September 24, 2014

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