With the release of SQL Server 2012 (http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/default.aspx) and BIDS Helper 1.6 (http://bidshelper.codeplex.com/releases/view/68109), we can now finally develop for Analysis Services in Visual Studio 2010.
Even better from a single project we can deploy to SQL 2005, SQL 2008R2 and SQL 2012. This means that the upgrade from 2008 to 2012 does not even have to involve an upgrade of Visual Studio.
How to Target Multiple versions of Analysis Services
I simply set up a separate configuration for each environment as screen show below. Each configuration just has a different server name as the deployment server.
Here’s a screenshot of a test server with 2005, 2008R2 and 2012 running side by side, all deployed from the exact same source code in VS 2010. Not a sign of BIDS 2005 or 2008.
So What's the Catch – Is this dancing babies?
Well unfortunately you can only get the BI components in Visual Studio 2010 IF you have also installed some of the SQL 2012 client tools. This doesn't affect me, as I work in most editions of SQL Server, but may affect someone who does not have access to the SQL 2012 client.