September 2009

No Picture

Eliminating Empty Output Files in SSIS

So you’ve got some packages that regularly extract data to one or more text files, but you know that from time to time some of the queries will not return any data. However, you find in SSIS that, in a flat file export package, the output file is created regardless of whether any rows are written to the file, and…


No Picture

Space Sensitivity in SSIS Lookups

It’s been well-documented through myriad blogs and forum posts about the case sensitivity of the comparisons in the SSIS lookup transformation (a good review can be found here). In a nutshell, a comparison using the lookup transformation is case sensitive when using the default setting of Full Cache, even if the values in the database are stored in a case…


No Picture

The Netbook: Upgrade to Windows 7

I’m more than 2 months into the netbook experience, and I’m happy to report that it’s still a good investment.  Last weekend, I made the leap to Windows 7 RTM.  So far so good! I was more than a little surprised to find out that there was no upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 7.  Although there are a…


No Picture

More Free Training Resources

A recent blog by Jack Corbett (No Training Budget Still No Excuse, followed up by SSC’s Steve Jones here) hit the nail on the head with respect to taking charge of one’s own career.  I won’t belabor the point by repeating their words here, but the message is that everyone has access to quality SQL Server training even if your…


No Picture

Upcoming Speaking Engagements for Q4

In the next few months, I’ll be giving a couple of talks on SQL Server business intelligence.  For October, I have the pleasure of presenting for SQL Lunch, a new online learning series pioneered by Patrick LeBlanc.  On October 12th, I’ll be discussing ways to leverage SQL Server Report Builder 2.0 against your existing SSRS infrastructure to allow users to…


No Picture

Skipping Items in a Foreach Loop

Recently, my friend Jack Corbett asked a question on Twitter: In a nutshell, the SSIS foreach loop will enumerate a given list of items (files in a directory, nodes in an XML file, static list of values, etc.) and will perform some operation for each of the items in the collection.  This behavior is similar to foreach loop constructs that…


No Picture

North Texas SQL Server User Group Meeting on Thursday

The monthly North Texas SQL Server User Group (NTSSUG) meeting will be held this Thursday, September 17, at 7:00pm at the Microsoft campus in Irving, Texas.  Our guest will be SQL Server MVP and consultant Geoff Hiten, who will be presenting “Bad SQL – Why Does This "Perfectly Good" T-SQL Run So Slow?” Admission is always free, and pizza and…


No Picture

Getting Into the Biz, Part 3

In a couple of previous posts (Part One and Part Two), I shared some thoughts about starting a career path as a database professional, including some notes from my own journey.  In this final segment, I’ll share a few discrete tips that will hopefully be useful to those interested in this field. Build Your Foundation: You’re going to need some…


No Picture

SQL Saturday Dallas Update

Just a quick update on the SQL Saturday event we are planning for the Dallas area next year.  Late last week our local event planning committee met to discuss the big stuff (venue, date, and advertising) and came away with a short but critical action list.  We’ve got a venue that has given soft confirmation to accommodate us, and we’re…


No Picture

Updating Existing Data with SSIS

I see a lot of questions on the forums about updating existing data in SSIS.  When the update is dynamic and is based on elements within your data flow, a common mistake is to use the Ole DB Command within the data flow pane:   The above poorly designed update has us retrieving data from some source, and then running…