Known Compatibility Issue between Windows SDK 6.1, VS 2008 Team Suite affects ESB Toolkit 2.0

Overview

As part of my work installing the ESB Toolkit 2.0 on BizTalk 2009 I have been encountering some significant traps in the configuration of VS 2008 Team Suite and ESB Toolkit 2.0.  I have found that it is very important for you to install Visual C++ as part of the VS 2008 install if you want to build the ESB Toolkit locally. This is not a directly expressed dependency in the documentation so this is something to watch out for. On my VMs to preserve space I will typically avoid installing extra features (such as C++, SQL replication, or Books online) that I usually do not need on the applications I work with but I found out the hard way that you should not take the C++ shortcut with the ESB Toolkit.

Another gotcha I have encountered deals with the Windows SDK 6.1. The current version of the ESB Toolkit 2.0 install documentation will refer you the SDK 6.1 download but I think the install originally referenced Windows SDK 6.0A. For all general purposes, the SDK 6.1 is fine but you are recommended to also install a hotfix, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/974479 if you install the SDK 6.1 after having installed VS 2008 SP1.  This hotfix overcomes some of the changes brought with 6.1 that alter the behavior of the SDK 6.0A. VS 2008 itself installs the SDK 6.0A if it is functioning correctly. The problem I experienced was that VS 2008 Team Suite does not work properly after VS 2008 SP1 and this leads to many unresolvable problems.

Detail

The issues I experienced were because VS 2008 Team Suite does not correctly keep track of the installed features after VS 2008 SP1 is installed. The Team Suite installer behaves unpredictably and will not adequately keep track of the extracted files found in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC or C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0A.  If I leave C++ checked during the Team Suite install I will usually always need to go back and repair the install after VS 2008 SP1 because some of the C++ components will be missing or the Windows SDK 6.0A files will be missing by the time I try to compile the ESB Toolkit.

One of the problems I experienced included the problem of the VS 2008 Team Suite installer giving the message (similar to problem identified in this thread: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vssetup/thread/2f3d0378-3175-49ae-acb7-012594a1bf3c):

A selected drive is no longer valid.

The install order I took when encountering this issue was:

  • BizTalk prerequisites – W2K8 R1 x64, SQL 2008 R1, SQL 2008 R1 SP1
  • VS 2008 Team Suite with C++ unchecked (SQL express was also unchecked)
  • VS 2008 SP1
  • BizTalk 2009 x64
  • Other BizTalk 2009 installs such as WCF LOB SDK, Adapter Pack, etc.
  • BizTalk 2009 ESB Toolkit Pre-Requisites such as MSChart, VS 2008 SDK
  • Windows SDK 6.1 

Conclusion

Unfortunately, I was not able to come up with a corrective solution for handling this configuration incompatibility. I tried a couple things but was unsuccessful:

  • Install the hotfix 974479 which should resolve most of the problems with the Windows 6.1 and VS 2008 SP1. I was still unable to get the VS 2008 Team Suite installer to work
  • Uninstall the hotfix 974479.
  • Uninstall Windows SDK 6.1 
  • Uninstall VS 2008 SP1

These last attempts certainly show some despiration but I found that once the Windows SDK 6.1 is installed the VS 2008 Team Suite installer seemed to me to always fail. VS 2008 SP1 is a requirement for BizTalk 2009 so I could not choose to avoid this. I recommend avoiding the Windows SDK 6.1 if possible on a computer or VM with VS 2008 Team Suite and SP1 otherwise you may not be able to compile the ESB Toolkit.

Thanks,

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