Chapter 1

Welcome to SQL Server Integration Services

WHAT’S IN THIS CHAPTER?

  • What’s new to this version of SSIS
  • Exploring tools you’ll be using in SSIS
  • Overviewing SSIS architecture
  • Considering your licensing options around BI with SQL Server

SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is the anchor in a growing suite of products that make up the Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence (BI) platform. What makes SSIS so important is without the data movement and cleansing features that SSIS brings to the table, the other BI products can’t operate. What’s the point of a cube, for example, with bad or inconsistent data? In its simplest form, SSIS is an enterprise-level, in-memory ETL tool. However, SSIS is not just a fancy wrapper around an import wizard. In a drag-and-drop development environment, ETL developers can snap together intricate workflows and out-of-the-box data-cleansing flows that rival custom coding and expensive million-dollar, third-party tools. The best thing about SSIS is that you have already paid for it when you license SQL Server.

When we put together the first edition of this book, we were blown away by the new architecture and capabilities of SSIS. SSIS was a big change from the Data Transformation Services (DTS) product that it replaced, and there was much to learn. Since the first edition of SSIS, we have collectively racked up many years of experience converting older DTS packages and mind-sets over to using it, and trust us when we say that no one who ...

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