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Introduction to SSIS

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Why do we need SSIS with the Usage

SQL Server Integration services, as the name suggests, provides a whole bunch of services for the SQL Server Database. The extraction of data from any kind of source is made possible using SSIS. SSIS has the ability to extract data from sources like JSON, Excel Files, CSV files, XML files, and other databases like Oracle DB.  Apart from extraction, the data from different sources can be merged using this tool. The above two functions contribute to the property where the developer is able to organize, clean up and systemize the data before loading it to any database using SSIS.

It’s a good tool, one of the best in current times, being used for the population of data warehouses, given that, this platform automates the process of data loading, extraction, and transformation. The ease of use and various features being offered for analysis, identification, and processing of data is what drives the developer to use SSIS.

Working Of SSIS

The next major component in SSIS is Data Flow. As the name suggests, Data Flow is the part where all the data related operations happen. This is where data can be extracted from any source (JSON, XML, Excel, DB tables, etc). If there needs to be any transformation applied to this data, as the addition of text or modification of the extracted dates or any kind of filter, that also happens in the data flow. Finally, the data flow is where the destination for loading the data is defined. The entire ETL happens within the data flow and once this is completed successfully, the control moves back to the control flow to the next task/container lined up after the data flow.

The next component of the SSIS tool is a Task. It is a unit of work or set of instructions. The only difference here is that it’s a drag and drop option which can be configured and modified once called in the control flow. Data Flow is an SSIS task. Some other tasks are namely Execute SQL Task (for executing a SQL Query directly from control flow), File System Task (reading, writing, manipulation of a file), Send Mail Task (sending out emails), FTP task (establish a connection to a destination using FTP to extract or load data), XML Task, etc.  These tasks can be grouped as well. A group of tasks is known as a container. The container can work in three ways which are Sequence Container (a set of tasks arranged in order and can be modified together), For Loop Container (a set of tasks, which run in a loop till when a given condition is true), and For Each Loop Container.

Lastly, there are parameters, which can be looked at as variables. These are values needed in the package for various tasks to be completed. They can be hardcoded or provided at run-time by the user.

Advantages of SSIS

Some of the major benefits of SQL Server Integration Services are:

No requirement for coding. The drag and drop technique is used for the creation of workflows

Minimal maintenance is needed. The packages are automated and run on the scheduled job

SQL Server and Visual Studio are tightly integrated through this platform

Implementation is not time taken and flows are speedy.

Heavily dependent on SQL Server. The packages can fail if the database is down.

Integration with third-party services is flaky.


This article covered SSIS very briefly. If someone is willing to take up development using SSIS, they must make sure they have a strong knowledge of SQL Server Database and a basic understanding of automation.

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