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SQL Server Integration Services 2

ETL is an acronym for Extracting, Transforming and Loading data into a data warehouse or any other database or application that houses data. Taking the data transfer process to a higher level, Microsoft has patented its Structured Query Language (SQL) Server Integration Services (SSIS). SSIS is a platform for building high performance data integration solutions, subsuming ETL packages for data warehousing.

It is necessary to identify all data formats at both the source and at the destination. Most often, they are quite different, with perhaps the odd commonality or two. Consider the case of a currency flat file. It would have four columns of data: the average rate of the currency, a currency key, a date key, and the end-of-day rate. This data is to be moved to another file, which is formatted differently, e.g., with columns for Column Name, Data Type, Lookup Table and Lookup Column. The Column Name will have four rows to incorporate the data input. These rows are the column headings of the source file, viz., average currency rate, a currency key, a date key, and the end-of-day rate. Analysis of the source and destination data formats indicates that lookups will be necessary for the CurrencyKey and TimeKey values.

In SSIS, the programmer will need to create a compatibility program. This involves a number of steps:
1. Creating a new integration services project

2. Adding and configuring a flat file connection manager

3. Adding and configuring an object linking and embedding-database (OLE DB) connection manager

4. Adding a data flow task to the package

5. Adding and configuring the flat file source

6. Adding and configuring the lookup transformations

7. Adding and configuring the OLE DB destination

The first step in creating such a program is to build what Microsoft calls an Integration Services project. This project includes the templates for the objects — data sources, data source views, and packages — that are to be used in a data transformation solution. The language factor, which is locale-sensitive data, is also an issue that needs looking at. If the computer is not configured to use the regional option English (United States), additional properties are to be integrated in the software to make it interpretable at the destination (see reference 1).

The second step in SSIS is adding and configuring a Flat File Connection Manager. Here, a Flat File connection manager is added to the package just created. Data can now be extracted from a flat file. Using this manager, file name and location, locale and code page, and the file format, including column delimiters, can be programmed to apply when data extraction begins.  In addition, the data type for individual columns can be manually specifiedComputer Technology Articles, apart from automatically mapping the extracted data to Integration Services data format. The remaining five steps can then be carried out by the programmer.


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