What is BIDS? Why do I need it? Where can I find it?
3 questions are asked here. Therefore, I will provide the 3 answers to you.
What is BIDS?
BIDS stands for Business Intelligence Development Studio. And this is what MSDN says about BIDS:
Business Intelligence Development
Studio is Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
with additional project types that are
specific to SQL Server business
intelligence. Business Intelligence
Development Studio is the primary
environment that you will use to
develop business solutions that
include Analysis Services, Integration
Services, and Reporting Services
projects. Each project type supplies
templates for creating the objects
required for Business Intelligence
Solutions, and provides a variety of
designers, tools, and wizards to work
with the objects.
Therefore, this definition from MSDN lays down the basics of what is BIDS. BIDS is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that is very similar to the basic look and feel of Visual Studios. It has been customized for Business Development Solution creation of MS BI Suite (SSAS, SSRS and SSIS). It does not have tools like textbox or buttons as you would see in Visual Studio. Instead, they comprise MSBI specific tasks, which enable us to create packages.
Why do I need it?
BIDS facilitates the entire development of solutions mentioned above. All you need to know is the business requirement and the basics of BI suite. The development need is highly reduced as a developer’s job can be summarized by DRAG, DROP, LINK & CONFIGURE the various tasks or transforms, as may be the case (I will elaborate them later). Talking specifically about SSIS, BIDS is the only way where you develop and test the SSIS package. SSIS package is nothing but a complex XML file. To make this xml file (package) and to modify the complex XML, we need BIDS. BIDS has lots of other features as well which we will be covering in the next chapter.
Where can I find BIDS?
You can get BIDS while installing MS SQL Server on your machine. While SQL Server installation on your machine follow the below steps and you will have BIDS on your machine.
Step 7: Put a valid product key for your SQL server.
Step 8: Accept the license terms
Step 9: Setup the role as per your need
Step 10: While selecting the features select SQL Server Integration Services (You do not see here as it is already installed on my machine) and then from the shared services select the Business Intelligence Development Studio.
After this step, you could proceed with your SQL Server installation. Once installed, you could start BIDS from Start->MS SQL Server -> SQL Server Business Intelligence Studio
When you open BIDS, it appears just like Visual Studios.
The difference comes when you try creating a new project (File->New->Project).
Here you will find the Business Intelligence Projects on the left pane and the various templates for MS BI development available. As of now, we would be concentrating on Integration Services Projects.
So, that sums up how to get BIDS on your machine. We will talk on how to use BIDS in the next article.