Source Control in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

This post was written by Ken Van Hyning, Engineering Manager, SQL Server Client Tools.

In the latest generation of SQL Server Management Studio, we moved to the Visual Studio 2015 Isolated Shell. While this provides SSMS a modern IDE foundation for many functional areas, it also had some consequences. Specifically, the integration with source control systems in SSMS no longer works the way it did in SSMS 2014 and prior.  Previously, one could install the Visual Studio MSSCCI provider and then integrate with various source control systems. Visual Studio 2015 does not support MSSCCI so that is no longer an option to use in SSMS.

Of course, the good news is that Visual Studio 2015 includes TFS and Git source control integration. With the move to VS 2015 Isolated Shell, SSMS should be able to use these packages as well, right? The answer is…yes…but! The issue for SSMS is that the TFS source control integration package VS provides also includes the entire suite of TFS integration features. If we include this package by default, SSMS will have Team Explorer in its entirety which includes things such as work item tracking, builds, etc. This doesn’t fit in the overall experience SSMS is designed for, so we aren’t going to include this package as part of SSMS. The full TFS integrated experience is included as part of SQL Server Data Tools which is designed for a more developer-centric set of scenarios.

That said, if source code integration is an important aspect of how you use SSMS, you can enable the Visual Studio packages manually.

Enabling source control integration in SSMS

To enable TFS integration in SSMS, follow these steps:

  1. Close SSMS if it is running.
  2. Install Visual Studio 2015 on your SSMS machine. If you don’t already have Visual Studio, Community Edition will work fine. This is a large download but you can save some space by unselecting all languages during the Visual Studio install if your only purpose is to enable Source Control in SSMS.
  3. Edit the ssms.pkgundef file found at C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\130\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio\ssms.pkgundef.
    • At the top of this file there are a series of packages grouped together related to TFS Source Control features. These packages must be removed from the pkgundef file. This can be done by either deleting the section or commenting out each line using ‘//’. Here is an example of what the section should look like if commented out:// TFS SCC Configuration entries.  The TFS entries block Team Explorer from loading.
      // Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.HatPackage
      // Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.Lab
      // GitHub Package
      // Team Foundation Server Provider Package
      // Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.WorkItemTracking.WitPcwPackage
      // Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.Build.BuildPackage
      // Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.WorkItemTracking
      // Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation
      // Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Git.Provider.SccProviderPackage
      // Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.SccPcwPluginPackage
      // Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.HatPackage
      // Visual SourceSafe Provider Package
      // Visual SourceSafe Provider Stub Package
      // Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.Initialization.InitializationPackage
      // Team Foundation Server Provider Stub Package
      // Microsoft.VisualStudio.Services.SccDisplayInformationPackage
      // Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamFoundation.Lab.LabPcwPluginPackage
      [$RootKey$\ToolsOptionsPages\Source Control]
      // TFS SCC Configuration entries.

Once completed, start SSMS and the “Team” menu should be visible in the SSMS menu bar. This menu and related features are the standard Visual Studio functionality. This enables connections to TFS servers or Git servers. Please refer to the following Visual Studio documentation for more information: