Deborah's Developer MindScape

         Tips and Techniques for Web and .NET developers.

October 17, 2013

Who Moved My Cheese: SQL Menu

Getting a new version of Visual Studio can be fun, especially when there are cool new features. But a new version can also be frustrating when original features are moved or unexpectedly changed.

The first noticeable change is the Visual Studio menu.

Visual Studio 2012 included a SQL menu (shown in red below) that provided access to some of the SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT).


When you first open Visual Studio 2013, the SQL menu is gone:


Well, it’s not really gone. It has moved to the Tools menu:


When in doubt … just type it into the Quick Launch bar in the upper right corner:


That will take you directly to the SQL menu options.


For more information on the new Visual Studio 2013 features, check out my upcoming Pluralsight course: Mastering Visual Studio 2013.


  1.   donttellya — December 17, 2013 @ 7:58 am    Reply

    In SQL menu of VS 2012, there was a “Check for updates…” command. There you could see which version and components of SSDT are being installed on your machine. This command is missing in VS 2013. So currently it is not obvious which version and components are being used by my VS 2013 installation (I have selected SSDT in setup options to be installed).
    I still have VS 2012 side by side installation (not with latest SSDT version because of development guide lines of our team).
    In Windows “Program and Features” list I can see that 11.1.30618.1 and 12.0.30919.1 is being installed and I can assume that the one with version 12 is being used by 2013. So, does this mean that SSDT is not intended anymore that SSDT can be updated manually and independently from VS versions? New SSDT versions will only be delivered with new VS versions?

  2.   DeborahK — December 23, 2013 @ 6:38 pm    Reply

    You can still see which version of SSDT is used in your Visual Studio 2013 using Help | About Microsoft Visual Studio. Then scroll down in list of tools until you see SQL Server Data Tools. Mine is currently 12.0.30919.1.

    I don’t know what the SQL Server team is planning for an update path, but I doubt it will be tied to Visual Studio. They announce updates with links on their blog:

    I was *hoping* that updates would appear in the new Notifications window when they became available. But we won’t know for sure until one becomes available. 🙂

    Happy Holidays!

  3.   pete — February 18, 2015 @ 12:59 am    Reply

    to complete this story, yes the updates appear as notification in Visual studio, under the name “Microsoft Sql Server update for data tools”.

    No direct relation to SSDT as such untill you start the install, which might put you off.

    •   deborahk — March 4, 2015 @ 12:43 pm    Reply

      Thanks for the update, Pete.

      I agree, some mention of SSDT might be nice here to keep the naming consistent!

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