Chapter 6

Using Variables, Parameters, and Expressions


  • Reviewing variables, parameters, and expressions
  • Using data types for variables and parameters
  • Creating variables and parameters
  • Expression syntax and usage
  • Expression examples

If you have used SSIS packages for any involved ETL processes, you have inevitably encountered the need for dynamic capabilities. A dynamic package can reconfigure itself at runtime to do things like run certain steps conditionally, create a series of auto-generated filenames for export, or retrieve and set send-to addresses on an alert e-mail from a data table. Because dynamic changes are fairly common occurrences, developers and architects have turned to expressions as they begin rolling out SSIS projects in their development shops.

This chapter attempts to provide a solid information base to get you up to speed on expressions. Here we will consolidate the common questions, answers, and best practices about expressions that we’ve heard and explained since the first release of SSIS. The good news is that expressions are easy to use and impressively powerful. As you read this chapter, you will not only gain an understanding about how expressions work but also gain some insight into how you can use variables and parameters to set up expressions on your current SSIS project.


SSIS includes multiple objects that can be used to create dynamic packages. Figure 6-1 provides a graphical description of this model ...

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