Tag Archives: Task Factory

Create XML Files With SSIS

imageIf you’ve ever tried to write data to an XML file with SSIS you know there’s not a slick, easy way to do it. You could use a Script Component in a Data Flow Task, as illustrated by fellow Pragmatic Works employee, Jason Strate. But there is an easier way. In comes Task Factory with its new XML Generator Transform Data Flow component.


The Task Factory XML Transform component allows you to specify the XSD file, which contains the schema information for the XML data to be output. Once you’ve selected the XSD file, any column from the source data that should be included in the XML document needs to be mapped to a matching field from the XSD file.


Next, you need to specify the relationship between the parent and child elements. Then map the field to establish the relationship.

Send the data to a Flat File Destination pointed at an XML file and you’re in business. Download the free trial of Task Factory to check out the XML Generator Transform and the 36 other tasks and transforms.

SSIS Advanced Execute Package Task with Task Factory

In the last few months, I’ve been giving a preview on some of the new advanced SSIS tasks and transforms being released in the coming version of Task Factory. Well Task Factory 3.0 has finally been released last month, and its packed with a ton of really cool tasks and transforms that are going to make SSIS development easier and will increase the performance of your packages.


One of the newest SSIS tasks released in Task Factory 3.0 is the Advanced Execute Package task. The really cool part about this task is the MUCH improved interface. It’s now incredibly simple to set up variable mappings from a parent package to a child package.

Here you can see the editor for the Advanced Execute Package Task. There are three areas of the editor I want to take a look at.


The first area, highlighted in green, is where you specify your connection to the child package. If the package is in the file system, you simply browse to the location of the package. If the package is located on a SQL Server, you need to select the SSIS connection manager to use. In either case, if the package has a password, you’ll need to enter that.

The second area of the Advanced Execute Package Task, highlighted in yellow, is where you create mappings between variables in the parent package and variables in the child package. In the Assignment Direction drop down list, you have a few different options.


We can read a variable from the child package, write a variable to the child package, or do both simultaneously. In my case, I’m passing a variable to the child package so I will select “Write variable to child package”. Then I just need to select the Child Package Variable and the Parent Package Variable.


Once I’ve done that, I can just click “Add Mapping”. Now we can see the mapping created between the two package variables in the last area (highlighted in pink in figure 1). Using this method, we can create multiple variable mappings between the parent package and the child package.


As you can see the Advanced Execute Package Tasks from Task Factory is very intuitive and simple. If you’ve used the native SSIS Execute Package Task, you’ll recognize that the new Advanced Execute Package Tasks is much simpler and easier to configure.

Sneak Peek: Advanced Conditional Split Transform in Task Factory 3.0


You may have seen my previous blog post a couple weeks back highlighting some of the neat things the dev team of Pragmatic Works is including in the latest build of Task Factory. Well I was doing some more sneaking around and I was able to snag these screen shots of the new and still experimental Advanced Conditional Split Transform!

I think one of the biggest and coolest improvements is the new functions made available for us in Advanced Conditional Split Transform. IMG_8328You’ll notice the editor for this transform is very similar to the Advanced Derived Column Transform we looked at last time. Now you have access to a ton more functions and expression that allow you to do some very cool things, like data cleansing with Regex, encrypting/decrypting fields, and access parts of file names with an expression. The SSIS expression language has been vastly improved and expanded in these transforms and is now more intuitive and easier to use than ever before.

IMG_8327One of the other things that is new with the Advanced Conditional Split transform included in Task Factory 3.0 is the ability to test and validate expressions within the editor for the Advanced Conditional Split transform. Not only can you validate your expressions in the editor before run time, you can actually test the performance of the expression you have written by specifying a number of iterations to test the expression with. This should give you a good idea of how the expression will perform during run time. This is a feature we haven’t had before. Now those of us who are SSIS developers will be able to test, fine tune, and retest our SSIS expressions!

This new generation of SSIS tasks and transforms are going to change the way I build my SSIS packages due to the new flexibility and power. Stay tuned for future posts on some of the incredible improvements and additions that are going to be available in the next version of Task Factory by Pragmatic Works.

Add 26 High Powered Tasks to your SSIS Toolbox

As a Business Intelligence Consultant with Pragmatic Works, I have the pleasure of being able to take for a spin any of the sports cars in the garage of Pragmatic Works software. And if you’ve frequented my blog before, you’ve heard about how much I love using BI xPress to speed up my SSIS package development. One of the coolest pieces of software out of Pragmatic Works is Task Factory.

Task Factory is a collection of high performance SSIS tasks that allows you to add and extend layers of functionality to your SSIS packages. One of the most powerful transforms that is included with Task Factory is the Dimension Merge SCD, formerly known as the Kimball SCD transform.

Dim Merge SCD

The Dimension Merge SCD transform is 100 X faster at handling Type 1 and Type 2 slowly changing dimensions than the native Microsoft SCD component which uses the slow-as-mess OLE DB Command transform. Being able to handle very large dimensions up to several million rows makes the Dimension Merge SCD included with Task Factory one of the most powerful transforms included with Task Factory. The Dimension Merge SCD offers the power and flexibility of the Kimball SCD with the support of the expert staff at Pragmatic Works.

One of my personal favorite new transformations just recently added to Task Factory is the Regex Replace transform.

Regex Replace

Previous to the development of the Regex Replace transform, I would have to use a Script Component and write some code to use regular expressions. But with the Regex Replace transform, I can easily and quickly use reg ex to either replace reg ex matched data or extract the reg ex matched data to a new column or the existing column.

The newest version of Task Factory includes 26 SSIS tasks and transforms that definitely are worth taking a look at. And if you’re even a little bit familiar with Pragmatic Works, you know of our dedication to the SQL community. With that said, Pragmatic Works offers a completely free Community Edition version of Task Factory, which includes five tasks and transforms such as the File Properties Task and the Data Validation Transform. Go here to download the latest version of Task Factory.