Data Warehousing and Data Science

7 June 2011

SSIS: Update a Variable based on a File (Script Component)

Filed under: SSIS — Vincent Rainardi @ 7:15 pm

Yesterday I wrote about setting a variable based on the value in a database table (link). Sometimes the source value is not stored in a database table but in a file. We need to read that file to get the value then update a package variable. Of course you can import that file into a table first, then query the table to update the variable via Result Set mapping like above. But sometimes you don’t want to do this. You want to update the variable straight from the file.

There are 2 ways to do this:

  1. Script component as a source
  2. Script Task

We use the Source Script Component when we want to set the variable as part of a Work Flow. We use the Script Task when we want to set the variable as part of a Control Flow? What’s the different? Work Flow is task where data flows from source to destination. Control Flow is a sequence of task, one after the other, not necessarily about data movement.

Out of those 2 above, in this article I will explain the first one (Update Variable from a File – Script Component as a Source). I will explain the second one (Script Task) in the next article.

OK Let’s start. Let’s say that the file we want to import is like below. Say what we want to get is the Number of Customers.

Let’s start. First we create a Data Flow by pulling the Data Flow task from the Toolbox on the left onto the Control Flow canvas:

Double click it to edit. Pull Script Component from the Toolbox onto the Work Flow. SSIS will ask whether we will use as a Source, Destination or Transformation. Choose Source and we get this:

Now create a variable to store the Number of Customer. First, click on the canvas of the Control Flow so that the variable scope is Package. Then create the variable, setting the type to Int32.

We go back to the data flow task, double click the script component:

On the ReadWriteVariables click on the Ellipses and select User::NoOfCustomers :

On the Input and Output tab, give the output a name (e.g. change it from “Output 0” to “ParamOutput”). Then create 2 output columns: ParamName and ParamValue. Set the Data Type to String for both of them:

On the Connection Managers, define a new connection:

Choose Flat File:

Give it a name, choose the file, and select “Column names in the first data row”:

Click on Columns on the left, check the preview (see below). Here we usually change the delimiter, but in this case it’s not required.

Click OK to close the window and back to the Script Transformation Editor Connection Managers tab. Choose the Connection Manager you just created (ParameterFile) and give it a name (e.g. ParamConn):

Now we are ready to edit the script (to be ready we need to have: connection, output and variable). Click on Script on the left and click on Edit Script:

Edit it like this:

using System;
using System.Data;
using Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Pipeline.Wrapper;
using Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime.Wrapper;
using System.IO; // This namespace is required for File functionalities
using System.Windows.Forms; // This namespace is required for the Message Boxes

public class ScriptMain : UserComponent
    // Declare the variables
    private StreamReader SR;
    private string File1;
    private int NoOfCustomers;

    public override void AcquireConnections(object Transaction)
        // Get the ParamConn connection, store it as 'File1'
        IDTSConnectionManager100 CM = this.Connections.ParamConn;
        File1 = (string)CM.AcquireConnection(null);

    public override void PreExecute()
        // Create a reader for File1
        SR = new StreamReader(File1);

    public override void PostExecute()
        // Close the reader

        // Set the Package Variable
        Variables.NoOfCustomers = NoOfCustomers;

    public override void CreateNewOutputRows()
        // Declare variables
        string nextLine;
        string[] columns;
        char[] delimiters;

        // Set the delimiter
        delimiters = "|".ToCharArray();

        // Read the first line (header)
        nextLine = SR.ReadLine();

        // Split the line into columns
        columns = nextLine.Split(delimiters);

        // Read the second line and loop until the end of the file
        nextLine = SR.ReadLine();
        while (nextLine != null)
            // Split the line into columns
            columns = nextLine.Split(delimiters);

            // Add a row on the output

            // Use MessageBox for Debugging
            // (you can debug a Script Task but not Script Component)

            // Set the values of the Script Component output according to the file content
            ParamOutputBuffer.ParamName = columns[0];
            ParamOutputBuffer.ParamValue = columns[1];

            // When we find the row, set the variable
            if (columns[0].ToString() == "Number Of Customers")
                // Store the value of columns[1] to an internal variable
                NoOfCustomers = Convert.ToInt32(columns[1]);
                break; // Get out of the loop when we found the row

            // Read the next line
            nextLine = SR.ReadLine();

Run it. You get message boxes 6 times containing: Analysis Type, Regulatory, Number Of Customers, 322514, Date Exported, 06/06/2011. Unfortunately we can’t debug a Script Component (we can debug a Script Task, but not a Script Component, see here), hence we use message boxes.

The code reads the file line by line, splitting each line on the delimiter. The split result is put in an array called columns. This array is mapped to the Output Buffer of the script component. When we found the “Number of Customer” row, set the internal variable then “break” out of the loop. At post execute, we set the package variable.

After the code is working properly don’t forget to comment out the message boxes.

Hope it’s helpful.

Vincent Rainardi, 7/6/2011


  1. […] setting the value of a variable from a file Link […]

    Pingback by Coming SSIS Articles « Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence — 7 June 2011 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

  2. […] the last article (link) I showed how to update a variable based on a file for script component. That’s useful when we […]

    Pingback by Updating a Variable based on a File (Script Task) « Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence — 21 June 2011 @ 10:24 pm | Reply

  3. simple and clear go ahead……….

    Comment by nidhin — 14 July 2011 @ 4:38 pm | Reply

  4. Hey there, I just hopped over to your web site through StumbleUpon. Not somthing I might typically read, but I liked your views none the less. Thanks for making some thing worth browsing.

    Comment by Jere Beirise — 27 July 2012 @ 2:01 am | Reply

  5. New to SSIS, this was very helpful…thank you!

    Comment by Clif — 12 February 2013 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  6. New to coding language…this helped me achieving my task in script component.

    Many Thanks…:-)

    Comment by Darur Ashok — 9 September 2014 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

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