Chapter 1. Welcome to SQL Server Integration Services

SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is the anchor in a trilogy of products that make up the Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence (BI) platform. SSIS along with Analysis Services and Reporting Services round out a platform that clearly puts Microsoft on the map in the enterprise Business Intelligence arena. In its simplest form, SSIS is an enterprise-level extract, transform, and load (ETL) development 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 third-party tools. For your edge cases, the model is easily extensible and custom components can be developed in .NET languages to simply snap into the framework. However, custom coding most likely will not even be necessary. With the latest version of SSIS, novice developers can use the embedded Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA) development environment to custom code workflow tasks and data pipeline transformations in VB or C# .NET languages.

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 has been much to learn. Since the first edition of SSIS, we have collectively racked up many years of experience ...

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