I have just installed SSMS 2014 Express on a brand new Windows Server 2012 (x64) so I connect to the SQL Server 2014 instance running on a different Windows Server 2012. This is working without issue and I can connect to the instance no problem.

The installation also appears to have included Visual Studio 2010 Shell (Isolated) which has made file associations with all my ASP.NET files (.aspx, .ascx, web.config, etc).

Now when I try and open any ASP.NET files via Windows Explorer, I get the infamous error message from "Visual Studio 2010 Shell" ...

Invalid license data. Reinstall is required.

I've seen hundreds of messages on the internet about this infamous message, but I cannot find a single straight answer about how to fix it.

The most prominent one is about how this can happen on when you upgrade from a "higher beta to a lower RC"... such as this MSDN Blog. But this is not the case for me, as this is a vanilla installation.

I have also tried installing the SQL Server Data Tools as per this post on Experts-Exchange, but that did help either, and just cause me more confusion.

I have uninstalled/reinstalled SSMS 2014 3 times now (which can't be a good thing in itself).

Can anybody please point me in the right direction?

If this is not strictly a DBA question, please let me know where I should have posted it

1 Answer 1


Visual Studio Shell is just the plumbing required to run the shared components within SSMS. If you want to manage .aspx files etc., you'll need to install the free Visual Studio Express (or a higher edition if Express doesn't have all the functionality you need).

  • Thanks @Aaron, I will look into VS Express... although I don't want to bloat the server with essentially unnecessary software just to do the odd bit of maintenance
    – freefaller
    Aug 14, 2014 at 15:50
  • @freefaller Then don't try to perform maintenance of .aspx files on the server!? Or if you do, just right-click them and open in notepad? Aug 14, 2014 at 15:50
  • It's a fair point, and one that I can't argue with. It's normally changing web.config setting that is the requirement, and it's nice to have an IDE rather than just using notepad
    – freefaller
    Aug 14, 2014 at 15:51
  • @freefaller so that's a trade-off you need to consider (there's no right answer). There are other IDEs available too, not just Visual Studio. But honestly, other than disk space, what bloating are you worried about? Unless you leave the IDE open all the time, it will only have an impact when you're actually performing maintenance, and even then it's arguably negligible. (That said, I still recommend Notepad for this task. How much easier does the IDE make formatting XML, really?) Aug 14, 2014 at 16:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.