Now that I work for Microsoft, I have free access to many of the latest product releases that only helps whet my appetite for trying new stuff. So, I installed Visual Studio 2008 (Team System version) from my MSDN DVD and the installation was smooth. Next, I installed SQL Server 2008 and here it detected the VS2008 installation on my system and asked me to install the VS2008 SP1 before progressing further. After I hunted down the service pack online and installed it, the rest of the SQL Server 2008 installation went through fine.
Here it got a tad interesting and thus the motive for this post. When I opened VS2008 -> New Project, many of the installed templates were missing. I swore I had seen the templates before installing SQL Server 2008. Something in the SQL Server 2008 installation messed up the VS2008 components. There is a chance of this happening since SQL Server 2008 client tools (Integration Services, BI studio and management tools) have shared components with Visual Studio and the reason the SQL Server installation was looking for VS2008 SP1 in the first place since the client tools require the SP1. Further information on this specific topic can be found in this MSDN blog post. Anyway, I figured I needed to repair the VS2008 installation to get back my pre-installed templates (plus there could be other problems I did not yet encounter). I ran the VS2008 setup again and this time it immediately failed with this error “A problem has been encountered while loading the setup components. Canceling setup”. A little research led me to this blog post by one of our developers in the Windows Installer team. See, the workaround is simple; kick off the VS2008 setup repair from the Add/Remove Programs of the Control Panel instead of directly from the media. The installation of VS2008 SP1 during the SQL Server 2008 setup was responsible for this problem as explained in the above article. Agreed that though the fix is simple, it is still a hassle nevertheless and I wish the whole installation process gets better in future releases.
To summarize, if you install VS2008 and do not apply the SP1 and then try to install SQL Server 2008 with client tools, you will be required to install VS2008 SP1 before proceeding with the SQL Server installation. The SQL Server 2008 setup however causes problems with VS2008 that is already installed on your machine. You can fix the VS2008 problems by repairing the VS2008 setup from the Control Panel instead of directly running setup from the VS2008 media.