Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) is the development environment used for SSIS Packages, SSRS Reports, & SSAS Cubes.
Since the release of SQL Server 2005, the development environment of reporting, ETL, OLAP and data mining solutions into a common, Visual Studio based environment. BIDS and Visual Studio are not the same however. It only contains the BI-related project types and designer extensions in a Visual Studio Shell.
For creating BI solutions for SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 Shell is installed. For SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, BIDS is built on Visual Studio 2008 Shell. Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 don't have the BI project types, BIDS do. These only can be installed using SQL Server's installation utility.
All developers who previously used Visual Studio might find themselves in a familiar environment: solutions and projects in the Solution Explorer window, Toolbox, Properties and Output window - almost everything can be found.
For a more detailed introduction to BIDS, please refer to this MSDN Library article.
There is no BIDS for SQL Server 2012: SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is the name of the new environment, which is an integrated mode Visual Studio 2010 Shell.
This article was originally written by Zoltán Horváth.