Comparing SSIS Packages with BI Compare

Comparing SSIS packages isn’t always easy, as I’m sure you’ve probably discovered if you’ve ever tried to compare one package to another. Of course SSIS packages are simply XML files underneath the shiny GUI, but scrolling through pages of XML in order to discover the slightest differences between two versions of a package is not how I prefer to spend my afternoons. Thankfully, there’s an easier solution.

Pragmatic Works has developed a tool called BI Compare that allows you to easily compare two SSIS packages and easily view the properties of each package side by side with easy to spot indicators making it very easy to spot differences in the packages. BI Compare is a tool included with Pragmatic Works fabulous BI development and administration tool BI xPress.

With BI Compare we can set up a new comparison scenario, identifying the packages we wish to display on the left and the right.

Once we have executed the comparison between the two package, the package comparison displays a image for component and properties in the two packages that match, a image next to components that do not match, and a image next to components that are missing in the other package.

So its very easy to skim through the comparison results and view the differences between the two packages by simply looking for the X icons or <- icons. You also have the ability to filter which types of objects you wish to compare. For instance, if you don’t need to compare the connection strings simply because you’re comparing a package in development against a package in production, you can exclude the Connection String property from the comparison.

As an SSIS developer and BI Consultant, I’ve found this tool very useful during SSIS package upgrades and migrations. To get more information on BI Compare, head over to Pragmatic Works and download the free trial version of BI xPress.

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