Thursday, January 8, 2009

SSIS Designer Tip

When designing a SQL Server Integration Services package, it can seem tedious to drag over each and every task and component from the toolbox to your Control Flow and Data Flow and connect all of the precedence constraints and pipelines. You can alleviate some of this by modifying the default Business Intelligence options within Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS).

Under the default settings, you can double-click any toolbox item and it will show up in your package designer with no connectors or specific place. To improve this, open up the Tools > Options... menu in BIDS. Then expand Business Intelligence Designers and Integration Services Designers. You will see Control Flow Auto Connect and Data Flow Auto Connect. If you check the option to "Connect a new shape to the selected shape by default", the drop down lists for specifying connector type and location are enabled in each menu. I prefer to use a Success constraint and add the new shape to the right of the selected shape, but you have a few options based on your design predilection.

Once these options are checked, double-clicking a toolbox item will add that item to the designer, using the options specified in the drop downs. You can of course change the type of constraint or move the item once it has been generated for you. Hopefully, this will save you a little bit of time when designing!

[Hat tip] I read about this option from Donald Farmer's great SSIS Scripting book.

Versions: Visual Studio 2005, Visual Studio 2008


Diego Arenas C. said...

Yes these tips are very useful, do you know any easy way of how to find a package in the package list in the Solution Explorer in BIDS?


Jessica M. Moss said...

Hi Diego,

I recommend installing BIDSHelper (, which allows you to sort your packages by name. This makes it much easier to find your packages! Or, you can always use the "Find by file" option in BIDS, which will direct you to the PackageName attribute in the package XML.


sqlgeek said...

Thanks for the tip.

Duane Douglas said...

These are great tips. I also read Donald's book, but I must have overlooked them there. DOH!