Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BIDS Helper and SSIS Deployment

Back in November I posted about the 1.2 release of the amazing BIDS Helper project on CodePlex and the new SSIS-related features it included. Well, the folks who contribute to the BIDS Helper project have been hard at work getting ready for their 1.3 release, and today they checked into TFS the first set of features designed to provide real-world deployment capabilities from within the Visual Studio (BIDS) development environment.

Now, not only can you create the standard deployment manifest[1] you can also deploy automatically and (here's the exciting part!) have BIDS Helper automatically create a batch file that calls DTUTIL each time you build your project.

How cool is that!

The reason I'm so excited about low-tech batch files is that they are incredibly simple to integrate into any deployment process, and they're completely hands-free. They may not be sexy, but they're close to perfect nonetheless.

Take a look here for more information: SSIS Packages

The bad news is that version 1.3 is not yet ready for release, so if you want to start taking advantage of this functionality you will need to download the BIDS Helper source code and compile it yourself. Which I am now about to do...

[1] Which seems like a good start, but quickly becomes a dead-end, because it is dependent on a user clicking and typing every time it is used, which makes it very undesirable in a real-world deployment scenario.


Anthony said...

Thanks for the great blog, I am new to ssis and found it very helpful. I was wondering if you could help me out but posting an example of what I am currently trying to do. I have a job stream that runs just fine except for my last step. For my last step I would like to create a dummy file with the date appened to it like this \\localhost\feeds\dummy_20080623.txt, I have been playing around with the "File System Task" item, but still couldnt figure it out. If you or anyone on your site could help a newbie, it would help me out a bunch thanks again for your great blog.

Matthew Roche said...

Hey Anthony,

The tools you need to get those dynamic file names are SSIS expressions. Take a look here:

Specifically, take a look at the SQLIS wiki that is referenced in that post. There are some examples of what you need here:

Basically what you need to do is to set an expression on the ConnectionString property of the Flat File connection manager that you're using to create the file, and use one of the techniques on the page above to build the file name.

And if you can give me a few days, I'll bet that would make a decent blog post... ;-)

Thanks for the feedback!

Anthony said...

Thank for your quick response, I will check the links you provided and look forward to seeing the post when you have some free time.