Notes from building a Custom ForEach Enumerator in SSIS
Development Notes from building a Custom ForEach Enumerator in SSIS

I recently posted about a quandary in which I found myself that led to me building my own extended ForEach File Enumerator in SSIS. All things considered, it was a reasonably straightforward experience, with most of my issues stemming from a relative unfamiliarity with Windows Forms development (I was always an ASP.NET man). The whole process can actually be split into four very simple steps to make things easier:

  1. Create your Enumeration function.
  2. Design your UI for SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT).
  3. Validation and assignment of input from the UI.
  4. Deploy your new component.

As long as your new custom component isn ’t too complicated, these steps can be completed very quickly, meaning you can be up and running in only a little longer than it would take to write everything in a Script Task, and think of the re-usability!

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Extending the ForEach File Enumerator in SSIS
Development Extending the ForEach File Enumerator in SSIS

One of the primary reasons for using SSIS is to process multiple files, ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) data, and feed it into a destination, for example, a data warehouse. Built-in components such as the For Loop Container and the ForEach Loop Container make it very simple to enumerate a collection and perform some processing tasks for each entry, be it an array, a dataset, or a directory containing files. In fact, the ForEach File Enumerator option of the ForEach Loop Container allows you to even specify a mask to filter the list of files in a directory prior to processing, so you can weed out unwanted files from the loop. But what if a simple string match isn’t powerful enough to perform the filtering you need?

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Microsoft BI 2012: A Year In Review
Development Microsoft BI 2012: A Year In Review

With the year drawing to a close, I thought it would be the perfect time to recap the major developments in Microsoft Business Intelligence throughout 2012. Unsurprisingly, the launch of SQL Server 2012 proved to be the focal point of this year’s releases, although we had a few extra surprises along the way:

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Development Time Format on non-Date Dimensions in SSAS

I ran into a rather strange situation recently while attempting to set up some new calculated measures in an SSAS cube. I’m still new to MDX, so I ended up chasing my tail around for a while (and crying out for help on both StackOverflow and MSDN) before I eventually tracked down the culprit and solved the issue. Basically, I was trying to create a calculated measure, which, using a couple of date attributes from one dimension, would apply to my [Time] dimension and filter the value of a specified measure to match. Not hard, right?

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Microsoft’s Mobile BI “Project Helix” Unveiled
Development Microsoft’s Mobile BI “Project Helix” Unveiled

Some pretty interesting information leaked out of last week’s SharePoint Conference 2012 regarding Microsoft’s upcoming Mobile BI (Business Intelligence) solution. There’s been surprisingly little reaction to the unveiling of the solution, apparently codenamed “Project Helix”, perhaps due to the fact that it was unveiled at a SharePoint event and not a SQL Server one. However, courtesy of one attendee tweeting some screenshots to SSAS guru Chris Webb, this little nugget of information landed in my inbox this morning and immediately piqued my interest. Unfortunately there’s very little information available on “Project Helix” at the moment, but from the 2 screenshots provided by attendee Just Blindbaek, there are a few things that are immediately apparent, and a couple more that can be reasonably inferred:

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Development Editing a PowerView RDLX file in Sharepoint 2010

Since I’ve not managed to get a post written up in about a month, I figured it was well past time to pull my finger out and get something posted.  As part of my recent work with PowerPivot and Sharepoint 2010, I’ve also been playing about with PowerView as a quick UI. For anyone who hasn’t tried/heard of PowerView, I suggest checking it out here.

Although a PowerView report is actually run as a Silverlight object when viewed in your browser through Sharepoint, you’ll see if you choose to download the file that it is actually saved as a .RDLX file, remarkably close to the standard SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) report file format of .RDL. So, this suggests there might just be some similarities in there somewhere, right?

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picnicerror.net is a personal blog where I post various ideas, thoughts and discoveries through both my day to day work in marketing technology and general hobbies and interests.

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