Tim Mitchell
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SSMS Tip: Portable User Settings

I’m a creature of habit. With the software tools that I use, I like to have everything in the same place every time, even if I’m working on a machine I don’t normally use. That’s especially true with SQL Server Management Studio, where the sheer number of buttons and options can force one to hunt for the feature they need….

SSMS Tip: Management Studio Script Projects

Did you know that SQL Server Management Studio can help you arrange your SQL scripts into logical groupings? SSMS includes the ability to associate multiple code files together into projects for better clarity and ease of maintenance. SSMS Script Projects For those familiar with Visual Studio, you’ll recognize the solution/project layout in SQL Server Management Studio. Much like its Visual…

sql code

SSMS Tip: Vertical Text Selection

Occasionally, I’ll stumble across one of those neat tricks that makes me ask myself, “Why didn’t I know about this years ago?”. This next tip was one such discovery, and has been a huge time saver for me. Vertical Text Selection in SSMS Typically, selecting blocks of text is done in a left-to-right, top-to-bottom order. If you use your mouse…


SSMS Tip: Beep When Query Completes

I’m old enough to remember when multitasking was considered a good thing. From the same mouths that brought you “work smarter, not harder” came the advice to always be working on multiple things at once to improve efficiency. However, we’ve since learned that deep focus is more serial than parallel, and that trying to focus on multiple things at once…


The Eleven Days of Festivus 2019

The weather is turning cooler, there is holiday music everywhere, and the relatives are all excited to get together and talk about politics. That can only mean one thing: it’s almost time for Festivus! For the last three years, I have spent the 11 days leading up to Festivus writing a blog post each day, and I’m delighted to continue…

PASS Summit 2019

PASS Summit 2019 – Day 1 Keynote

Today is the first full day of the PASS Summit, and this morning we kicked things off with a 2-hour opening ceremony and keynote. Networking and Growth PASS president Grant Fritchey starts things off appropriately by focusing on networking and career growth. We say it every year, but it bears repeating: the most important thing you’ll get out of being…

SSIS Error Output

Using the SSIS Error Output On the Data Flow

When working in the SSIS data flow, you’ll notice that many sources and transformations and some destinations have a built-in output to handle errors. The error output allows the SSIS developer to create a separate path through which error rows can be directed. In this SSIS Basics post, we’ll briefly discuss the essentials and design patterns for using SSIS error…

SSIS Term Extraction

Using the SSIS Term Extraction for Data Exploration

Data exploration is an essential piece of any new ETL (extraction-transformation-load) process. Knowing the structure, type, and even the semantics of data sources can help the ETL developer or architect to make better decisions on data type and length settings, transformation logic, and error handling procedures. Additionally, there are situations in which the exploration of the data is the principal…

Project Connections in SSIS

Using Project Connections in SSIS

In SQL Server Integration Services, connection managers are used as gateways for most any external read and write operation. Connection managers are type- and format-specific, and in the case of relational database connection managers, they are usually specific to vendor (Oracle, DB2, etc.) as well. In most use cases, the same connection will be used across multiple packages in the…

For Loop in SSIS

Get Started with the For Loop Container in SSIS

SQL Server Integration Services is equipped with tasks and containers to make it easy to design and maintain the flow of ETL: which logic should be executed, when should it be executed, and how many times should it occur. Most SSIS developers are familiar with the sequence container and the For Each Loop container, which can be used to group…