As mentioned earlier, when you develop an ETL solution by using SSIS, you’re going to be developing packages. SSIS packages are the basic unit of development and deployment in SSIS and are the primary building blocks of any SSIS ETL solution. As shown in Figure 14-1, the package is at the heart of SSIS; having SSIS without packages is like having the .NET Framework without any executables. An SSIS package is, in fact, a collection of XML that can be run, much like an executable file. Before we examine the core components of an SSIS package, we’ll take a brief look at some of the tools and utilities available to help you to develop, deploy, and execute packages.