Articles by Tim Mitchell

Building Better SSIS Packages

New Course: Building Better SSIS Packages–Denver and Boston

Earlier this week, I confirmed two full-day seminars I’ll be delivering in conjunction with SQL Saturday events this fall. I’ve got a brand new course entitled “Building Better SSIS Packages” which I’ll be delivering in Denver and Boston. Here’s a brief into to this course: SQL Server Integration Services is deceptively easy to use. With a few hours of instruction…


The Key to Successful Analysis

The Key to Successful Analysis

The key to successful analysis is to ask enough good questions. How do you know that you’ve asked enough questions? When you think you have all the information you need to get started, ask 10 more good questions. Those ten questions will lead to five more, which will lead to 3 more, and so on. After you get started, if…


A Tool for Every Job

A Tool for Every Job

I’m a fixer. A tinkerer. As a kid, I would take my toys apart just to see how they worked, and to prove that I could put them back together again (and these experiments often had mixed results). Even today, I’m still kind of a shade tree handyman. In fact, earlier this week I had to fix a broken safety…


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Row Numbers and Running Totals in SSIS

During data load or transformation processes, capturing a distinct row number for incoming data can be beneficial for the ETL process itself, as well as for use in the destination database. Having an arbitrary, incrementing row number assigned to each row can help to determine the order in which the rows of data were processed, and can provide a unique…


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Advanced SSIS Training Classes This Fall

Now that the details have been finalized, I can announce that two new SSIS classes are coming up this fall. My Linchpin People cohort Andy Leonard and I will be delivering our Advanced SSIS training class in two new locations later this year: in the Atlanta area in September, and in the Washington, DC area in December. Each of these…


How to get fired from an ETL developer job

How To Get Fired from an ETL Developer Job

Through the course of my 8-someodd years of building and fixing ETL processes, I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of ETL code. Some of that code was really good, well-thought-out and carefully executed. Other load processes were – well, let’s just say that they provide plenty of consulting opportunities (and I include much of my early code in…


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Office Hours Webinar: Is Biml Right for You?

If you’ve read my blog or attended one of my presentations before, you almost certainly know that I’m a huge fan of Biml. If you’re building or maintaining SSIS packages (or you’re supervising those that do), you owe it to yourself to learn about Biml. I don’t make a lot of predictions, but I will make one here: Automation tools…


Keep My Information Secure

Dear Vendor: Keep My Information Secure

Dear vendor: If you’re reading this, we have done business together, either directly or indirectly. You might be a retail website from which I purchase products or services. You could be a social media empire on which I share blog posts, life events, and photos of my meals. You may be a physician’s office I visited 15 years ago. You…


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The SSIS Object Variable and Multiple Result Sets

In my most recent post in this series, I talked about how to use the SSIS object variable as an ADO recordset as a source in a data flow. By loading the result set of a query into this variable, the contents of the variable can be read by an SSIS script component and sent out through the SSIS pipeline….


Angry businessman shouting

Somebody Doesn’t Like You, and That’s Good

Everybody wants to be liked, to some extent. Being disliked by others feels like a deficiency, a shortcoming in oneself that must be fixed. It feels like a failure that you’ve let someone down, or even worse, it can make you feel like you’re somehow broken or deficient. I would argue the opposite: It’s only a dysfunction if nobody dislikes…