Thursday, February 26, 2015

SQL Server Data Tools: Setup Continuous Integration for your Database Projects

In Visual Studio 2013, the SQL Server Data Tools are available out-of-the-box. They give you a new project template, the Database project, that allows you to manage your database objects and scripts in a structured way.

In this post I want to explain how you can enable continuous integration and automatically deploy your database changes each time you check-in some code.

Preparation

Before we start make sure that you created a database project and added some database objects. On your TFS build agent, the SQL Server Data Tools should also be installed. If you are using Visual Studio Online(like I will do) together with a hosted Build Controller, the Data Tools are already installed.(Here is the full list of installed components: http://listofsoftwareontfshostedbuildserver.azurewebsites.net/)

Add a Publish Profile

Open Visual Studio and load your Database Project. Once Visual Studio is ready, right-click on your Database Project and click on Publish…

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The Publish Database window is loaded. Click on Edit… to add a connection string to the database where you want the database project published to. Afterwards click Save Profile As… to save the Publish profile and add it to your Database Project.

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As we don’t want to deploy immediately, you can click on Cancel to close the window after the Publish profile is saved.

Creating a new Build Definition

Now everything is configured correctly, it’s time to open up Team Explorer(View –> Team Explorer).

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Go to the Builds tab to add a new Build Definition.

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Specify a name for your Build and move on to the Trigger tab.

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Set the Trigger type to Continuous Integration and jump directly to the Build Defaults tab.

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On the Build Defaults tab, select the Build Controller where the SQL Server Data Tools are installed. In my case I’m using Visual Studio Online, so I choose the Hosted Build Controller. I also choose to copy the build results to a Drops folder inside source control. Let’s move on to the Process tab.

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On the Process tab, open up the Advanced section and paste the following line in the MSBuild Arguments field:

/t:build /t:publish /p:SqlPublishProfilePath=NorthwindDBProject.publish.xml

Replace the SqlPublishProfilePath value with the name you choose for your Publish Profile in the Database Project.

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Save the Build definition, you are done! There are a lot of other things, you can configure, but by default, this should be enough.

Check-in and see what happens…

As a last step, do some changes inside your database project, check them into TFS, and look how your database is rolled out for you…

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