Tag Archives: Pragmatic Works

How I Got my Start at Pragmatic Works

October 4th of this month was my seven year anniversary as an employee of Pragmatic Works. Things have changed a lot over the past seven years. Working with the wonderful people at Pragmatic Works has been quite an amazing journey and incredible opportunity. With that in mind I thought that I should share my story of how I ended up working in the business intelligence field with the great team at Pragmatic Works. Continue reading How I Got my Start at Pragmatic Works

Are You Using SSIS Best Practices?


Earlier this month, Pragmatic Works released a new tool for their Pragmatic Works Workbench toolbox: The Best Practice Analyzer. The guys and gals over at Pragmatic Works have come up with a tool that analyzes your existing SSIS packages and compares them with a standardized set of best practice guidelines produced by the expert team of consultants and developers you’ve come to know and love over the past several years.

The Best Practice Analyzer combs through the SSIS packages you have selected and produces a report outlining all the best practice violations including violations of varying severities, such as “Warning”, “Error”, “Performance”, and “Informational”.

First, select the packages you’d like to investigate for adherence to best practices.

Next, select the best practices to be included in the report.

The end result is an easy-to-read report identifying any violations of best practices.

Violations could include everything between leaving a component description blank, using a fully block transform in a Data Flow Task, not enabling error logging, plus many more. Head over to PragmaticWorks.com to get more information on the SSIS Best Practice Analyzer.

Import Native SSIS Performance Data With BI xPress

imageOne of the most powerful features of BI xPress is the Auditing Framework, which allows you to apply a standardized and robust auditing framework to multiple packages in just a few clicks. I’ve blogged about the BI xPress Auditing Framework before because its an extremely impressive tool that has saved me and the teams I’ve worked with countless hours. But now that SQL Server 2012 has been released, we have a whole slew of execution and performance data available to us natively within the 2012 SSIS Catalog. Wouldn’t it be great if we could view the native execution and performance data within the BI xPress Monitoring Console even if the BI xPress Auditing Framework has not been applied?

Your prayers have been answered. If you’re running SSIS 2012, you can now easily import the native execution and performance data into the BI xPress database for even more in depth reporting on the execution of your SSIS packages. Of course, this feature only works if you’re running 2012 :).

To import the SSIS Catalog data into the BI xPress database, click the SSIS Catalog Import button located on the Pragmatic Workbench home screen.


Next specify the location of the BI xPress database that is your target for the import. Then add the SSIS Catalog as the source for the import.


imageAnd the really nice part is that you can turn on Auto Importing so that the native performance and execution data will be automatically imported into the BI xPress database!

Now that the data has been imported into the BI xPress database, any native SSIS 2012 package stored in the SSIS Catalog can now monitored and measured in the BI xPress Monitoring Console. Head over to PragmaticWorks.com for more information and a trial download.

The Best SQL Documentation Tool on the Market

If you read my blog you know from time to time I will blog about an exceptional third party SQL tool. Previously I’ve blogged about Task Factory and BI xPress, two amazing SSIS development tools. Well this week I figured I would talk about a killer SQL documentation tool called BI Documenter.


BI Documenter allows you to quickly and easily document your entire BI environment. So unlike the other popular tools out there, BI Documenter will document SQL Server databases (2000, 2005, 2008 & R2), SSIS packages, SSAS cubes, and SSRS reports. Because all of these objects can be documented in a single snap shot, you are then able to easily perform impact analysis across all objects, which has a pretty slick UI and is very intuitive. You can also do snapshot comparison across your whole stack, so you can see how any object in a snapshot differs from a previous snapshot.


One other thing to mention about documenting SSIS packages is that BI Documenter is the only documentation tool that not only documents the SSIS packages textually, but also visually!


This means that after you document you SSIS packages, you can view the SSIS packages (Including the Data Flow Tasks!) just like you would in BIDS. Very cool!

BI Documenter is a pretty cool documentation tool that is very well rounded and since it’s the only tool on the market that can document the entire BI stack all together, its basically you’re only choice if you want to do impact analysis across the stack. BI Documenter also has a lot of awesome features coming up in the next release such as documenting server level objects, like SQL Agent Jobs, Linked Servers, Backup Locations, and others.

If you’re in the market for a rock solid documentation tool with the kind of support you can count on, I’d highly recommend that you check out BI Documenter and download the free trial. It’s at the very least worth a look.