I inherited a project that was being built in VS 2019. After I finished building it and asked the requestor for clarification on how to handle a few scenarios I get a warning that the license for VS 2019 is about to expire. Turns out the project was running on the 30 trial license. The server is on a network that is isolated in such a way I can't use an MSDN account to sign in. We were able to get VS 2017 Standalone shell installed with data tools using the off line method. Now the problem is I have a 2019 project and dts package with 2017 tools. Is there a way to downgrade the project to 2017?

  • Could you just use the Community version of 2019 instead?...at least as a means to temporarily access the project while figuring out the best way to migrate it to a 2017 project.
    – J.D.
    Mar 7, 2022 at 20:33
  • Can't log into VS account from that machine. Sorry that was unclear in the question. Mar 7, 2022 at 21:06
  • You don't need to login to the original account to use Community edition. Any account will do, and it doesn't expire, it's the free version.
    – J.D.
    Mar 7, 2022 at 23:40
  • The machine is networked in such a way that the login process doesn't work, so no account can log in. Mar 8, 2022 at 3:02
  • I don't understand, why do you even need to use the same machine? Just copy the solution / project to another computer?
    – J.D.
    Mar 8, 2022 at 4:21

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, you cannot automatically regress packages to previous VS project versions. Essentially, previous versions simply do not know what changes may have occurred to a component or pipeline, so if a higher-than known version number is detected, you will probably have to rebuild the component or affected task. While often this shouldn't be more than a mild-to-moderate annoyance, if you are using a lot of script tasks you'll likely have to open the .dtsx file in your text editor of choice to retrieve the custom definitions.

As @J.D. comments, you could also pull a copy of the package off the server to be opened with a community version of the tool if a rebuild effort is determined to be necessary. However, until licensing gets sorted out, you are effectively being forced to treat VS 2017 as the new target version for the time being. You can always upgrade to a newer version from there when new keys are provided.

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