THE MOST IMPORTANT BUSINESS intelligence tool in the Microsoft Swiss Army knife of tools is SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). This is because the other tools would be nothing without the cleansing and movement of data into a presentable format. The product can extract, transform, and load (ETL) data astonishingly fast. A 2010 benchmark showed movement of more than a terabyte an hour with SSIS! If you’re new to SSIS, you’ve picked a fantastic field to become involved in. The one consistent skill needed in today’s technical job market is ETL. If a company wants to establish a partnership with another company, it’ll need to communicate data back and forth between the two companies. If your company wants to launch new products, it’ll need a way to integrate those products into its website and catalog. All of these types of tasks are going to require the skill set you are developing and will learn in this book.

Companies that had never used SQL Server before are now allowing it in their environment because SSIS is such an easy-to-use and cost-effective way to move data. SSIS competes with the largest ETL tools on the market like Informatica, DataStage, and Ab Initio at a tiny fraction of the price. SQL Server 2012 now offers more components that you use to make your life even easier and the performance scales to a level never seen on the SQL Server platform.

The best thing about SSIS is its price tag: free with your SQL Server purchase. Many ETL vendors charge hundreds ...

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