TechMixer University – SSIS for Developers

In addition to help recruit speakers, I also had the privilege of speaking at TechMixer University 2009.

The slide deck and main demo can be found at my Code Gallery site:

The calling of SSIS from .Net demo can be found at:

Thanks to everyone who attended TechMixer University. I look forward to seeing you next year!

SQL Saturday 25 Gainesville GA – October 10 2009

SQL Saturday 25 Logo

SQL Saturday 25 occurred in the lovely town of Gainesville GA on October 10th. At the event I did two presentations.

My first presentation of the day was Introduction to SQL Server Integration Services. The sample project, slide deck, and step by step instructions can be found at . In addition I also showed how to call SSIS from a .Net application. You can find that sample at

The second presentation is SQL Server Full Text Searching. You can find the slide deck in PDF format as well as sample code at

Thanks to Stu and the crew for a great event!

Using SSIS Package Configuration Values as Parameters to SQL Tasks

Last weekend I presented at SQL Saturday in Redmond WA. One attendee asked if it was possible to use values from the Package configuration file as parameters to a SQL Task. The answer was a definite yes, although I didn’t have a good example. This post aims to fix that.

Let’s start with the basic workflow. First you will need to create a variable, this variable will be used to pass the value from the config file to the SQL statement. Next you will need to establish a package configuration file, to hold the configured value. After that you will create an Execute SQL Task. In the input statement for the task, simply use ? for each parameter in the T-SQL statement. Finally you’ll click on the Parameter Mapping area of the SQL Task and map the variable to the position of each ?.

Now that you have a basic overview of where we’re going, let’s start this example by creating a simple table to update. Pick your favorite database, or create a test one, then run a simple script to create a table. I used my ArcaneCode database, which I use for samples, and created a table named TestParamToProcs in the dbo schema.

USE [ArcaneCode]

/****** Object:  Table [dbo].[TestParamToProcs]    Script Date: 10/06/2009 21:45:19 ******/


CREATE TABLE [dbo].[TestParamToProcs](
    [ID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
    [SomeText] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
    [ID] ASC


Now let’s create a new package. I started by opening BIDS (Business Intelligence Developer Studio), creating a solution and named it ConfigFileToSqlParams. I added a Shared Data Source to connect to my database. Next I renamed the default package to ParamToProcs.dtsx. I added the shared data source to the connection managers area of the package.

OK, that takes care of the basics. Next we need to setup the package for variables and a config file. Open up the variables window (click in the Control Surface area, and in the SSIS menu pick Variables.) Create a new variable, we’ll call it MyParam. Make it a string and insert the value of “X” into it.

Now right click on the Control Flow surface (all that yellow area in the Control Flow tab) and pick Package Configurations. Click the check box to “Enable package configurations”, then click the Add button at the bottom of the screen. You are now presented with the Package Configuration Wizard. The first screen is just a welcome screen, you can click past it. The next screen is the “Select Configuration Type” screen. Make sure the default of “XML configuration file” is selected in the drop down. Next under “Specify configuration files directly” enter the path and file name for your config XML file. I named mine ParamToProcsConfig.xml and clicked Next.

The next step in the wizard is the “Select Properties to Export” screen. Expand the Variables area in the tree, then the tree for MyParam, then Properties. Now make sure the only box checked is the one for “Value”.


Click Next once your screen looks like the one above, and you’ll be at the completion screen. Give your package config a good name, I used MyParamConfig, and clicked Finish.

Now let’s drop 3 SQL Tasks into the Control Flow surface. The first task will simply delete all the rows in the table that was just created. That way we can run the package repeatedly. For all three tasks set the Connection to the shared source you added in the Connection Managers area. Now for the SQLStatement of our first task, we’ll use Direct Input and enter this SQL statement:

DELETE FROM dbo.TestParamToProcs

For the next SQL task we’ll insert a row into our table to manipulate. Use this for the SQL Statement property.

INSERT INTO dbo.TestParamToProcs (SomeText) VALUES (‘Hello’)

OK, those were fairly easy and straight forward. Now comes the fun part. For the next SQL Task, we’ll use this statement for the SQLStatement property.

UPDATE dbo.TestParamToProcs SET SomeText = ?

Note the use of the ? (question mark) for the value of the SomeText field. This is the parameter. Now we need to supply a value to this parameter. Over on the left, click the Parameter Mapping tab. Click Add and a new row will be placed in the grid. In the first column, Variable Name, from the drop down pick “User::MyParam”. Leave the Direction as “Input”. Since this is a string variable, we’ll need to change the Data Type column to “VARCHAR”. Finally we need to set the Parameter Name, For this we’ll enter a 0 (zero). We’ll leave the Parameter Size at the default of –1.


When your dialog resembles this one, you can click OK. If you needed to use more than one parameter, just use ? for each place where a parameter would go in your T-SQL statement. Then use the values of 0, 1, 2 etc for the Parameter Name. 0 will map to the first ?, 1 to the second, and so on. OK at this point your SSIS package should look something like:


If you now run the package, then jump into SQL Server Management Studio and run a “SELECT * FROM dbo.TestParamToProcs”, you should see one row with the SomeText column set to X. Great! Now lets give it one more test. We should change the config file, and run the package outside of BIDS.

First, open notepad or some other text editor, then open up the ParamToProcsConfig.XML file. Move to the <ConfiguredValue> tags, and change the X to something else. I used “ArcaneCode” as it was rather spiffy, but you can use your name, or your cat’s name if you like. Save the file and you can close your text editor.

Now let’s use dtexec to run our package. Open up a command window and navigate to the folder where your package is located. I then used the dtexecui utility to create a package execution command. I’d encourage you to play with this, but so we’re all on the same page here is the dtexec command line I came up with:

dtexec /FILE "D:\Presentations\SQL Server\ConfigFileToSqlParams\ConfigFileToSqlParams\ConfigFileToSqlParams\ParamToProcs.dtsx" /CHECKPOINTING OFF  /REPORTING EW

Of course you’ll want to change the path to wherever you have the ParamToProcs.dtsx package. You should be able to run the above command line and execute your package. If you the jump back to SSMS and rerun the “SELECT * FROM dbo.TestParamToProcs”, you should now see the row with the new value from the config file.

To summarize, the basic steps are:

1. Create the variable

2. Store the variable in a package configuration XML file.

3. Create a SQL Task. Use ? for the parameters in the T-SQL statement.

4. Map the variables to the parameters.

5. Run. Be happy.

And that’s all there is to it.

SQL Saturday Redmond – October 3 2009

I am fortunate enough to be able to give three presentations at Redmond WA’s SQL Saturday event. The first session is “Introduciton to Data Warehousing / Business Intelligence”. Here is the PDF slide deck for that presentation. (Right click and save as if you want to save a copy for later reference).

The second presentation is SQL Server Full Text Searching. You can find the slide deck in PDF format as well as sample code at

The final presentation of the day was Introduction to SQL Server Integration Services. The sample project, slide deck, and step by step instructions can be found at . In addition I also showed how to call SSIS from a .Net application. You can find that sample at .