Home > Uncategorized > MS BI Workshop #3 – Create one VS Solution for all MS BI Projects

MS BI Workshop #3 – Create one VS Solution for all MS BI Projects

Continuing from MS BI Workshop #2 – Scrum for DW/BI developer

Here is my notes #3.

Just as a couple of my blogs that are all about being productive in tool we use everyday SSMS, this notes is about another tool we use everyday, BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio).

We all know that in BIDS, we can not only create individual BI projects, such as SSIS projects, SSAS projects, we can also create an umbrella Visual Studio Solution that can house all individual projects. But in my many years of MS BI work, I never did that. Maybe it’s because I’ve never felt the need to see all my BI projects under one solution. Or maybe it’s because I am afraid that when I click that green arrow button (Start Debugging button) or when I press Ctrl + S (Save All shortcut), I might mess up all of BI projects unintentionally.

Anyway, during the workshop, I was convinced that creating one VS Solution for all my BI projects in BIDS is a good idea.

Hope I can convince you too that it’s a good idea.

Here are a few tips when you decide to do so for your own BI projects.

Give your VS Solution a Name with a Bigger Scope

In my example here, BI 2008 R2 is the VS solution name. Under it, I have three BI projects, one for a SSAS project, one for SSIS project, and one for SSRS project.


To create a VS Solution, check box “Create directory for solution”

You might have already noticed, BIDS does not give you option to create a VS solution exclusively. You must have a project created.


In the New Project dialog, make sure you check the box “Create directory for solution”.


In my example, both the SSRS 2008 R2 project and the BI 2008 R2 solution will be created once I click OK.

Tools –> Options –> “Always show solution”

Microsoft has given us all the good features in these tools, but their help stopped right here. By default, the VS solution you’ve just created will not show in your Solution Explorer. If your’ solution is not showing, use the above menu option to turn the option “Always show solution” on.

Do the same on Team Foundation Server (TFS)

If you are a TFS administrator, you should do the same thing. As a matter of fact, once you turn the “Always show solution” on on the TFS server, developers do not need to know this option, because the VS solution will always show in developer’s BIDS whether they have the option on or off locally.

Hope you are convinced as I am to use one VS solution for all your BI projects.

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