Wednesday, October 31, 2007

PacMan is Loose on CodePlex!

PacMan - The SQL Server Integration Services Package Manager is a utility designed to permit batch operations on arbitrary sets of SSIS packages. Users can select a single package, a Visual Studio project or solution or a file system folder tree and then validate or update all selected packages in one operation.

And you can find it here:

PacMan is a utility that I developed primarily for my own use, and secondarily for use by members of my development team. Although I had always intended to share the PacMan utility with the SSIS community eventually, I kept pushing it back further and further since it wasn't "ready."

But my speaking schedule this month has convinced me that either it's never going to be ready, or else it's already ready. Maybe both. At various presentations this month in Stockholm, Sweden and here at home in Central New York I demonstrated PacMan to illustrate some of the things you can accomplish by using the .NET object model included with SSIS, and the response was an overwhelming "I want that!" from the seminar participants. I explained how this was a personal dev utility that wasn't really ready for prime time, and the interest didn't wane at all with that warning.

So here we are. I've done minimal cleanup, and the code isn't perfect (and there are very few comments, which is something that I would never allow to happen on a "real" project) but I could not find anything similar online, and I thought the best thing to do would be to share the code today instead of waiting to polish it before sharing it.

This is the first CodePlex project (or open source project in general) that I have started, so I honestly do not know how I am going to handle other project participants. I'll the first public alpha release is already available for download so everyone should be able to download the code to use (and tweak) on their own, but I don't currently know what I'll do when people want to contribute directly to the source code. I guess we'll find out when people ask.

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