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New Release: BimlExpress 2019

In May 2019, Varigence released BimlExpress 2019. This is the first major release with support for both Visual Studio 2019 and SSIS 2019. It includes bug fixes and performance enhancements. You can read more in the official release notes and download the extension from Varigence.

What’s new in BimlExpress 2019?

This is the first major BimlExpress release this year, called the R1 release. There are no new features in this release, but BimlExpress now supports both Visual Studio 2019 and SSIS 2019!

While there are no new features in this release of BimlExpress, there are two changes to Visual Studio that you should be aware of as a Biml developer.

The first is that SSIS is now an extension to Visual Studio, and must be installed separately. The SSIS extension is still in preview, so make sure you check all known issues before you install it and upgrade your projects.

The other is that Visual Studio has made a change to how extensions are loaded. This will give you a warning after installing BimlExpress, but does not affect your Biml projects.

Installing the SQL Server Integration Services Projects Extension

After you have installed Visual Studio 2019, you have to install the SQL Server Integration Services Project Extension.

On the toolbar, click Extensions → Manage Extensions. Search for SQL Server Integration Services. Scroll down until you see the SSIS Projects extension. (You may have to click Online in the left menu to see all the extensions.)

Screenshot of how to find the SQL Server Integration Services Projects Extension in Manage Extensions

Because the extension is still in preview, the Download button will take you to the Visual Studio Marketplace. Download the extension and install it.

(Once the extension is out of preview, I expect to be able to automatically install it from Visual Studio instead of downloading it from the Marketplace.)

Installing BimlExpress 2019

Go to the Varigence website, download the BimlExpress VSIX file, and install it. When you open Visual Studio, you may see a yellow bar with a warning:

Screenshot of Visual Studio warning about autoloading synchronous extensions after installing BimlExpress 2019

The warning says: “Visual Studio did not load one or more extensions that were using deprecated APIs.” Click “Allow synchronous autoload” and restart Visual Studio. BimlExpress will now load without the warning.

If you later change your mind, you can change the setting. Click Tools → Options, then click Extensions:

Screenshot of Visual Studio settings for allowing autoloading synchronous extensions

This change was implemented to improve startup and solution load times in Visual Studio. It’s a great change! The BimlExpress extension just hasn’t been updated yet :) I’m hoping this will be done in the next release.

You can read all about this change in the Updates to synchronous autoload of extensions in Visual Studio 2019 blog post.

Where did the BimlExpress menu go?

Another change in Visual Studio is that individual extension menus are now grouped under the main Extensions menu on the toolbar:

Screenshot of the BimlExpress menu inside the Extensions menu

This means that you will no longer see BimlExpress on the toolbar. You can still right-click on your SSIS projects or Biml files to see the Biml context menus, or use custom BimlExpress Keyboard Shortcuts.

Summary

BimlExpress 2019 is a major release with support for both Visual Studio 2019 and SSIS 2019. There are no new features in this version, but be aware of the changes to Visual Studio that also affects BimlExpress.

About the Author

Cathrine Wilhelmsen is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, BimlHero Certified Expert, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, international speaker, author, blogger, and chronic volunteer who loves teaching and sharing knowledge. She works as a Senior Business Intelligence Consultant at Inmeta, focusing on Azure Data and the Microsoft Data Platform. She loves sci-fi, chocolate, coffee, craft beers, ciders, cat gifs and smilies :)

Comments

Hi! This is Cathrine. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep in mind that I'm not technical support for any products mentioned in this post :) Off-topic questions, comments and discussions may be moderated. Be kind to each other. Thanks!

Hi Cathrine,

Thank you for making this post and helping me stay upto date in the Biml world.

I have struggled in the past to install BimlExpress in Visual Studio as I did not seem to get the versions of BimlExpress and Visual Studio to match correctly.

Have you had a chance or know if BimlExpress 2019 is compatible with Visual Studio 2017?

Thanks

Fred

Hi Fred, I was able to successfully install BimlExpress 2019 in Visual Studio 2017, and everything works as expected :)

I have a couple of questions regarding “How To” do something in BIML Express. First, how to you get BIML to recognize Project Parameters so it will compile? Second, as long as you user the same password for the EncryptAllWithPassword setting, will BIML Express work? If not — how do you handle this situation?

Hi Cathrine,

When I tried to download BIML Express 2019, first instance the download is getting interrupted and when I click resume then it is downloading. When I open .vsix file installation failing with below message (I tried to install couple of times same thing happening during download first download is interrupting and when we press resume downloading was successfully and installation is failing)
Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.InvalidExtensionPackageException: The file is not a valid VSIX package. —> System.IO.FileFormatException: File contains corrupted data.

Could you please suggest how can we successfully install BIML Express 2019 for Visual Studio 2019.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Contact Varigence support.

Hi! This is Cathrine (again). Just a reminder. I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep in mind that I'm not technical support for any products mentioned in this post :) Off-topic questions, comments and discussions may be moderated. Be kind to each other. Thanks!

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