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.)
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.