Solving the “Spatial types and functions are not available …” -problem

Spatial SQL types

This page describes mutiple ways on how to fix the exception ‘Spatial types and functions are not available for this provider because the assembly ‘Microsoft.SqlServer.Types’ version 10 or higher could not be found.‘ which comes up during debugging or publishing your program, app or service using DbGeography.

Symptoms

While running a console program or perhaps installing an ASP.NET MVC website on a machine, where SQL Server (apart from the one that comes with the Visual Studio) has not been installed, you may encounter the following error:

At least for me, this was baffling as that assembly was included in the project, and would compile and run flawlessly on other machines, just not on this one. I’m documenting here all the possible fixes to the issue I am aware of.

Problem / Reason

For me, the actual reason was that even though the DLL was loaded and included in the project as a nuget package, the actual native assemblies for this dll were not loaded to memory, as this needs to be done in the runtime. This issue was made worse by the fact that I first created this solution on a machine, where SQL Server was installed, so I was very much oblivious of the issue until it hit me on the face while trying to run my program on this particular machine, which did not have SQL Server.

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