Wednesday, November 30, 2011

5 Tips for a Smooth SSIS Upgrade to SQL Server 2012

The SSIS team has just released a white paper on upgrading to SSIS in SQL Server 2012:

Summary: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Integration Services (SSIS) provides significant improvements in both the developer and administration experience. This article provides tips that can help to make the upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Integration Services successful. The tips address editing package configurations and specifically connection strings, converting configurations to parameters, converting packages to the project deployment model, updating Execute Package tasks to use project references and parameterizing the PackageName property.

If you’ve been using SSIS in versions prior to 2012[1] please take a moment to check it out. The evenings you save may be your own…

Direct link:

[1] And if you read this blog, odds are this is a safe bet.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Setting up a SQL Server 2012 RC0 VM

I ran across this excellent article last week, but forgot to share it before I went offline for the Thanksgiving holiday. Fortunately it was waiting for me in a browser tab this morning to remind me.

How to Build a SQL Server 2012 RC0 Hyper-V Virtual Machine

Setting up a new development[1] environment for a new product is often complex. When the new product is something as diverse as SQL Server 2012, and when you want to explore integration with other products like Visual Studio, SharePoint and Exchange, the setup process can be positively daunting.

In this wiki page, Richard Davis presents a step-by-step approach for building a SQL Server 2012 RC0 VM. I haven’t gone through the whole thing myself, but when I need to build out a comprehensive demo machine, this is where I’ll start.


[1] Or demo, or play, or whatever.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


If you’ve been following the pre-release versions SQL Server 2012 (previously code-named “Denali”) you’ve probably been using the Community Technology Preview (CTP3) that Microsoft released back in July. You probably have already seen the Release Candidate (RC0) that was made available last week.

But what you may not know is how SSIS is changed between CTP3 and RC0. RC0 is a big leap forward for SSIS, and includes some significant new functionality, such as:

  • Script Component debugging
  • Attunity Change Data Capture components
  • Change Data Capture for Oracle
  • ODBC Source and Destination components
  • Externalize parameter values in Visual Studio configurations
  • New REPLACENULL expression function
  • UI for Pivot and Row Count transforms
  • Tons of minor fixes and improvements based on CTP feedback

SSIS developer Matt Masson has a more in-depth look at these changes on the SSIS team blog[1], but I wanted to call them out here as well.

The final bullet[2] is also worth stressing. You may not notice these improvements directly, but the SSIS team have made a significant “fit and polish” for RC0, improving functionality that was delivered in (and before) CTP3. If you’ve been using SSIS in CTP3, be sure to download RC0 today and give it a try.


[1] And to give credit where credit is due, the “what’s new” list in this post was blatantly copied from an email from Matt as well.

[2] Which I added to Matt’s list.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

SQL Server Special Ops Tour

If you’ve been following recent SQL Server news, you know that the next version of SQL Server has lost its “Denali” code name[1] and has been officially named SQL Server 2012.[0] This is actually sort of old news, but I’m mentioning it here because it segues so nicely into the main topic of this post: the upcoming Special Ops tour.

The SQL Server Special Ops tour is a 12-city[2] tour being organized by the SQL Server team. You’ve probably seen tours like this before, with technical experts providing deep insight into the features and capabilities of a new software release. But this is a tour with a twist, and the difference is you.[3] To be more specific, it’s members of the SQL Server community who will select the cities for the tour, and who will help select the topics. You can go to today to cast your votes. There will be even more ways to participate, so check out the site today and watch for more news.

And while you’re there, you may also want to check out just what it is that members of the SQL Server team get up to when they’re not at the office…

Do you see any familiar faces?

[0] You also know that SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate 0 is now available for download, as of this morning.

[1] Although I expect most people on the SQL Server team will be calling it “Denali” for many years to come. After joining the SSIS team this summer I had to dredge through my long-term memory to recall what “Yukon” and “Katmai” and “Kilimanjaro” were.

[2] See the clever tie-in there? SQL Server 2012. 12 cities? Ahhh…

[3] Yes, I’m playing this up a little bit. I’m home sick today (which is probably the only reason why I have time to blog during business hours) and am feeling a bit punchy…

SQL Server 2012 RC 0 Available for Download

If you’re working with the pre-release versions of SQL Server 2012, or if you’re thinking about preparing for its release, today is a big day. The first release candidate has been published on the Microsoft Download Center:

RC0 is a major release for SQL Server Integration Services, with lots of improvements since the CTP3 release in July. If you’ve been waiting to kick the tires, you may not want to wait too much longer…