“Internal Error: Ese could not be initialized” when performing a schema compare in SSDT

I have recently imported several of our live databases into SSDT and was just trying to perform a schema compare to make sure I pick up any changes since the import before we start using the SSDT solution as our source code.  I have just received the following error…

“Target is unavailable: Internal Error: Ese could not be initialized”

SSDT Ese Error1

In this case the source is my database and the target is the database project (if I switch them round so the database project is the source then the error changes to “Source is unavailable…”).

If you look in the application log you can see a much more useful error…

SSDT Ese Error2

Looking at this error we can see that during the schema compare SSDT creates a .model file in “C:\Users\SimonP\AppData\Local\Temp\12aadf86-a621-49fa-8c75-de8dfa92fdc2.model” and it cannot open it because it is compressed.  My C drive is compressed but if I remove the compression from “C:\Users\SimonP” the schema compare now works.

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