SSDT and SSIS backwards compatibility

If you are a consultant, and work with SQL Server, you typically have a number of clients that have varying versions of SQL Server. Sometimes it’s nice to have a greenfield piece of work as you can setup the server and software to a recommended specification. When you don’t and are developing a solution, you may have a number of versions of SQL Server Data Tools on your laptop. I have at the moment the following:

  • Business Intelligence Development Studio For SQL Server 2008 projects
  • SSDT 2012 for SQL Server 2012 Projects
  • Visual Studio 2013 with SSDT 2013 for SQL Server 2014 Projects

Why do you need this, well for each version of SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) things changed and the new version isn’t compatible with the old ones, which is a bit of a pain. So I was surprised with the announcement of SQL Server 2016 which promised a backwards compatible SSIS. But how far back? Microsoft didn’t say. In the December 2015 SSDT 2016 preview update I saw the line:

Please note that SSIS designer support for SSIS 2012 and 2014 is not yet included in this update.

Brilliant. I was sort of hoping for 2008 to be included, but as there was quite a lot of change with the movement to SSIS Catalog and Project deployment types, I can live with out it. We’re seeing less and less 2008(R2) projects and most people are on 2012. Another bit of news is that finally, SSDT will have Database and SSIS, SSAS, SSRS project templates as default, no installing the Visual Studio Shell then SSDT for BI, it’s all (should be) in one nice package.