Data Warehousing, BI and Data Science

4 June 2011

Coming SSIS Articles

Filed under: SSIS — Vincent Rainardi @ 2:57 pm

Looking at the SSIS section on my blog I felt that SSIS has not been represented fairly. It has far less articles than SSAS! Over the years I have encountered several interesting stuff in SSIS, hence there are a few SSIS articles I’d like to write. Some are of basic type; some are more of architectural type.

The basic ones are for example: (I will put the link here one by one as I completed them)

  • export a query result into a file Link
  • load a file into an existing table (upsert)
  • set the value of a variable from database Link
  • set the value of a variable from a file Link1, Link2
  • find the latest file
  • dealing with the file footer/header
  • import an Excel file – problem with alphanumeric column
  • removing a column that was deleted from the table

I found that some people are having difficulties finding an example that they can copy. I believe that we human “learn by example”. When people google something, they want to find an article with an example that they can copy/do. Not lengthy explanation about how it works. But it is so difficult to find these examples, even for simple things, e.g. writing into a variable. So in all my coming articles I will write it to show it by example, rather than lengthy theoretical explanation.

The more of architectural ones are for example:

  • Configuration parameter: parent variable vs xml approach – advantages/disadvantages
  • Using custom task/component or child package to increase code reusability and maintainability
  • Orchestrating an ETL batch using metadata approach
  • Using a centralised message hub for DI/ETL rather than point to point approach. Particularly applicable / beneficial for large corporation.
  • What’s new in SSIS 2011 – this one is not architectural 🙂

So in the next few weeks I will be writing them one by one. Hopefully they are useful for people who need them. As I finish each article I’ll put the link on the list above, as well as on the home page of course. If there are other topics in SSIS that you would like me to write, please let me know ( There’s 1 Informatica article that I’d like to write: Importing a File with Dynamic Columns, i.e. like this but in Informatica.

Vincent Rainardi, 4/6/11

PS. Well, talking about unfair representation, SSRS, Informatica, BO, Cognos, and Teradata are also not represented fairly 🙂 – I have no articles on them. None! Well may be next time, after SSIS. Now I’m going to concentrate solely on SSIS (well, and data modelling).

Back to Microsoft Word

Filed under: Other — Vincent Rainardi @ 8:03 am

In the end, after a few weeks on Windows Live Writer, I decided to go back to use MS Word 2010. The main reasons were:

  1. Images. I do a lot of screenshots in my articles, usually to describe a software or a process, e.g. SQL Server BI, etc. With WLW every time I update the article, it reload all the images as another name. I recall one of the comments on the WLW blog was about that. Having experience it myself, I felt I had to correct it because of space reason (and also untidy), e.g. delete all the copies of the images from WordPress, leaving just 1 copy. This is very time consuming. Using Word 2010 Blog template, same problem. So I had to revert to a normal Word template (not the blog one). This way, only 1 copy of each image because I essentially load the images one by one myself into WordPress. I only use the MS Word for writing the article and inserting images, but then copy paste the text into WordPress manually, and upload the images manually. But, if the article doesn’t contain any images, like this one, I use the Blog template feature of MS Word, simplifying the uploading process tremendeously.
  2. Features. There are so many features in Word that I missed. Shortcuts, spelling/proofing, font, and its ease of use. I have been using Word since in 1990. It was DOS based, MSWord 5. I was a WP user before, and Chi Writer, but MS Word was better so I converted. I have been with Word only since 1990 and I’m very familiar all the shortcuts etc. WLW on the other hand is quite limited I found, in terms of features
  3. Management. I maintain a copy of all my articles on my laptop, backed up to USB disk (every week) and external HD (every 3 months). I found it is easier to manage the documents using Word. Using WLW it always goes to MyWeblogPosts under My Document, and I had to move them manually to by DWBI Blog folder. I didn’t have the freedom to create the documents/files on the location that I wanted.

Vincent, 4/6/11.

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