Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Upgrading your SSIS Management Framework: Part 1


Before SQL Server 2012, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) had no built-in logging, auditing, and configuration framework.  All of the pieces were available to build your own, but everyone ended up doing that just a little bit differently.  Most of us consultants came up with our own variation to implement at client sites and ensure that all of those functions at that one client were the same.  I'm especially proud of the framework that Rushabh Mehta and I developed that is published in Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services: Problem, Design, Solution (SSIS PDS) and implemented by many others as well.

Along came SSIS 2012, when Microsoft realized this "multiple-different frameworks" spread was happening, and thought "how cool would it be if we could standardize the framework so ALL our clients have the same one".  This would not only reduce initial development time of the framework, but also ensure that upgrades and future maintenance would go smoothly. Coinciding with (or perhaps due to) this decision, Microsoft moved the execution of SSIS packages to run inside of SQL Server.  Having a consistent framework is wonderful, and I'm a big fan of using the consistent built-in framework.

Upgrade Options

However, what do you do if you've already implemented a custom framework, similar to one in SSIS PDS?  There are a couple of options:

  1. Move lock, stock, and barrel to the new framework. To do this, you would have to upgrade all existing packages, remove the components that logged to the framework, and change your configurations schema to use parameters.  This means that you would never have to worry about upgrading your framework again because Microsoft will take care of it.  On the other hand, you would lose ties to your existing log records.  If you have a small number of packages or you have only used a custom framework for a short amount of time, I would recommend this option.
  2. Stick with what you've got. This option is the most easy to implement, but provides the least amount of value.  The new SSIS framework contains much more logging than most of the custom frameworks, and when a package fails and you don't know why, mo' logging = mo' better.  I do not recommend this option.
  3. Use a hybrid approach, which the potential to phase out the custom framework in the future.  This option includes a little bit of up-front work, but will be maintainable (and hopefully enhanced!) in future SSIS versions.

Okay, let’s do it!

Next week, we'll look at how to implement the hybrid approach based on the PDS framework.

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