Say welcome to BimlExpress – the newest, shiniest and completely free Biml toy! :) I first mentioned BimlExpress at SQLSaturday Vienna and have been waiting for the official release since then. I’m very happy that I can now send you all over to Varigence’s website to download the Visual Studio Extension!
What is BimlExpress?
BimlExpress is a free Visual Studio add-in for working with Biml in your SSIS projects. It allows you to add and edit Biml files, generate SSIS packages from Biml, and the code editor is fully featured with syntax coloring, error highlighting, intellisense and a preview pane.
If you are already using BI Developer Extensions (previously known as BIDS Helper), you will see that BimlExpress works the same way and includes all the same Biml features as in BI Developer Extensions – just with a new and improved code editor. No more squiggly red lines, yay!
What versions of Visual Studio / SSDT does BimlExpress work with?
As of January 2018, BimlExpress works with Visual Studio 2015. It does not yet work with Visual Studio 2017.
Should I use BimlExpress or BI Developer Extensions?
Both! :) BI Developer Extensions is a fantastic, free add-in with a ton of useful features for your Business Intelligence projects. The release of BimlExpress simply means that Varigence can update the add-in and the Biml engine with new features more frequently and separately from BI Developer Extensions. When BI Developer Extensions is updated it will include the latest Biml engine. Keep using BI Developer Extensions, and install BimlExpress as well for the latest Biml features.
And all of you Biml fans agree with me that the new code editor is worth it, right? Right!? :)
How do I get started with BimlExpress?
Download and start the installation. Select which versions of Visual Studio you want to install (or update) the add-in for, wait a couple of seconds, and you can start writing Biml!
If you click on Learn Biml you will be taken to BimlScript.com, and About BimlExpress will show you things like the Build version and product key information:
Help! I see double!
Do you see both the BimlExpress and the BI Developer Extensions menu items?
Just go to the toolbar menu and click Toggle BIDS Helper Menus (Not yet renamed to Toggle BI Developer Extensions Menus) :)
If you have been working with Biml and BimlScript using BI Developer Extensions, you know how painful it is when the syntax coloring stops working, the intellisense stops working, and you get a ton of squiggly red error lines that aren’t really errors when mixing Biml and BimlScript. Not anymore! Look at the pretty BimlScript code nuggets highlighting and functional intellisense :)
(You can also uninstall from the Control Panel.)
Happy Bimling! :)
Biml All The Things – Express Version!
(Thank you so much for this release and the great support, Varigence :D)