SQL, VS, SPs: Installation Order

Earlier this month I’ve had the pleasure of installing a development PC from scratch.

As always, the first question that then comes to mind is: in what order should I install my software?  SQL Server, Visual Studio, any service packs, add-ons, …

Obviously, the basic requirement is SQL Server 2008 R2.  I also need Visual Studio 2008 for custom development, and Visual Studio 2010 for the Database Projects.  Furthermore we’re using Team Foundation Server 2010 for source control purposes.

The list below represents the order with which I’ve come up and which I’ve applied with success.  This order is based on own experience, plus some web research to make sure I didn’t miss anything crucial.

Tip: when given the chance, always go for Custom Install.

  • Visual Studio 2008 (ensure to not install SQL 2005 Express Edition)
  • VS2008 Team Explorer (link)
  • SP1 for VS2008 (link)
  • VS2008 SP1 Forward Compatibility Update for TFS2010 (KB974558)
  • SQL Server 2008 R2
  • SP1 for SQL2008R2 (link)
  • Visual Studio 2010 (ensure to not install SQL 2008 Express Edition)
  • SP1 for VS2010 (link)

In case you’re wondering why this matters so much, well, let’s just say that getting the order wrong can really cost you some time.  In the past I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing an Intellisense (in SSMS) that’s completely broken and an error in VS2010 that prevented me from using the Database Schema Comparison feature to script out the changes.

Hopefully this saves you some time, and I encourage you to have fun while you’re watching that installer’s progress bar!

Valentino.

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