Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Favorite SSIS Tips and Tricks–Tip #1

As part of SQL Saturday #122 in Louisville, I had the pleasure of doing a presentation on my favorite SSIS tips and tricks.  All of the attendees seemed to enjoy the topic and hopefully learned of a few tips and tricks that they might not have known about.  The success of that session led me to thinking that I should do a series of tips and tricks blog posts.  Thus, here’s the first of many such posts that I’ll be doing over the course of the next few months or so.  Feel free to comment if you find any of these useful or if you question their usefulness (hey, I’m sure I don’t know about every tip or trick out there!)  And yes, I know most of these are likely mentioned in some other blog post or website somewhere, but hopefully reiterating them here will drive home the point!

So, my first tip is to get and use BIDS Helper.  For those SSIS developers out there who are not familiar with it, BIDS Helper is a great add-on that provides a whole set of additional features for the different BIDS (and now SSDT) designers.  Of course, being an SSIS developer, the features related to SSIS package design are of particular interest to me.  Truth be told, I just will not develop without having BIDS Helper installed – it’s the first thing I download and add once I’ve installed SQL Server on a new machine.  And even though SSIS 2012 and the new design interface in SSDT add some of the features that BIDS Helper introduced several years ago, the other features included with BIDS Helper that are not in SSIS 2012/SSDT are still extremely useful, so anyone doing development with the newest version of SQL Server will still want to get BIDS Helper and use it religiously.  So take a look, get it, install it, and love it!!

PS.  Kudos and a thousand thanks to the development team behind BIDS Helper – the SSIS community owes you all a debt of gratitude!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

SSIS Pre-Con for SQL Saturday #122 (Louisville)

On Friday, Jul 20, I had the great pleasure of presenting a full-day pre-con on SSIS in conjunction with SQL Saturday #122 in Louisville.  The pre-con was title SSIS:  Live it, Love it, Learn it.  I tried to cover the basics of SSIS 2008 during the morning and then switched to SSIS 2012 during the afternoon.  All in all, I think the attendees appreciated the content and asked a lot of great questions.  And I was pleasantly surprised by how many of them said they were already using SSIS 2012!

For those who attended, I’ve attached the presentation slides here.  I created a pretty extensive set of labs for the course, but would prefer not to put them out for public consumption so if anyone who attended the pre-con needs a copy of the lab files, please do leave a comment here and let me know.  And if anyone out there feels this would make a good pre-con for an upcoming SQL Saturday in their area, please do let me know!  I had a great time presenting it (even if the classroom was way too hot that day!)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Time to Blog Again!

Although my blog may not have a very high profile compared to some of the other great SQL Server BI bloggers out there, I’ve recently become somewhat convicted about blogging again.  While I’ve not had a lot of time over the last several years to give back to the SQL Server community (case in point – my last blog entry was July 16, 2009!), I’m hoping to change that over the next few months.  So just a quick note to let those who might have stumbled across my blog in the past know that I plan to start sharing more thoughts and musings about the Microsoft BI stack in the very near future!  So stay tuned!!