19.2. An Overview of Packages

Just as DTS did in SQL Server 7.0 and 2000, SSIS utilizes the notion of a "package" to contain a set of things to do. Each individual action is referred to as a "task." You can bundle up a series of tasks and even provide control of flow choices to conditionally run different tasks in an order of your choosing (for example, if one task were to fail, then run a different task). Packages can be created programmatically (using a rather robust object model), but most initial package design is done in a designer that is provided in SQL Server.

Let's go ahead and create a simple package just to get a feel for the environment. To get to SSIS, you need to start the SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio from the ProgramsMicrosoft SQL Server 2005 menu on your system — then selectIntegration Services as your project type as shown in Figure 19-1.

To be honest, I consider the move of this to the Intelligence Studio to be nothing short of silly, but I do have to admit that one of the most common uses for a tool such as SSIS is extracting data from a Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) database and transforming it for using in a Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) database. Still, it's a tool used for all sorts of different things and probably should have been part of the core Management Studio (or at least available in both places).

So, to reiterate, ...

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