The SQL database publishing wizard is a very popular web-downloadable add-in for Visual Studio 2005. The publishing wizard addresses the issue where a developer needs to deploy a local database from his development machine to a hosting environment on a remote machine. We received a lot of positive feedback for this wizard and we decided to integrate this with Visual Studio 2008. This is a feature that was added post Beta2 and will be available with Visual Studio 2008 RTM.
The wizard supports two key database hosting deployment scenarios:
1. It generates a single .SQL script file which can be used to recreate a database on a remote machine
Using the Database Publishing Wizard you can point to a database on your local machine, and then automatically create a .SQL script file that contains the setup logic needed to re-create a replica of the database on any remote system – for example an external hosting system. This .SQL script includes everything needed to create the database schema (tables, views, sprocs, triggers, full-text catalogs, roles, rules, etc). You also have the option of populating the new database with the same data contents as your local tables. Most hosters today support the upload and running of .SQL files to their hosted environments using their admin control panels. So, all you need to do is upload and run the .SQL script generated by the Database Publishing Wizard, and you will have a working database in your hosted environment. This should considerably reduce the effort required to deploy your databases.
2. It connects to a web service provided by your hoster and directly creates objects on a specified hosted database.
The Database Publishing Wizard also enables you to point at a database you are working with on your local system, and then use web-services to transfer and recreate the database in your remote hoster environment (without you having to create the .SQL file or use the hoster admin control panel to run it). This publishing option does require that a SQL Publishing web-service be exposed in the hosting environment, and the SQL Server Hosting Toolkit includes a free implementation of this SQL Publishing web-service that we’ll be working with hosters to aggressively deploy