Nov
7
2010

Off topic: Programmatically creating a tag cloud in C#

Today I searched for sample code for creating a tag cloud, for a little project that I have in mind. Assuming that you already have tags (or categories) and a weighting factor, you may find these code samples and user controls interesting. Most of them target Web output, understandably. Not yet sure how much effort would be required to create a Silverlight or XAML tag cloud. Creating a Tag Cloud in C# on geekzilla.co.uk, 2006. Code for an ASP.NET User Control, with formatting provided by CSS. Download li... [More]
Nov
6
2010

Webcast: Unlock the spatial data stored in Microsoft SQL Server

(I received this invitation at Microsoft, and was encouraged to invite my "customers and partners." First, take a look at this output from the DataConnector to whet your appetite...) Understanding Web Mapping and Data Visualization using DataConnector Attend this webcast and learn how SQL Server 2008 can help you visualize your data on a map using a free download called DataConnector. You’re most likely already familiar with SQL Server support for spatial data and now with DataConnector ... [More]
Oct
20
2010

More affordable spatial data loading for SQL Server

Do you have spatial data stored in ESRI Shapefiles, MapInfo TAB files, MIF/MID files, or CSV files that you have to load into SQL Server? If you do, then this new and more affordable product from SAFE Software may meet your needs. SAFE has quietly released FME Desktop SQL Server Loader Edition, a $500 subset of the full functionality found in their "FME Desktop Microsoft SQL Server Edition" product. Here's the description of this new product from their Web page: "Quickly load data into ... [More]
Sep
26
2010

Data profiling for SSIS with plug-in rules of your own

Tillman Eitelberg has blogged a sneak preview with screen shots of his company's new datenfabrik.profiler, which will run as a component in the data flow of a SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) package. Till will present the beta version of the component within a few days at SQLBits 7 in York, England. There is not a download available at the present time. One of the most interesting features is that the final version will expose a plug-in architecture that lets you "plug in " additional ... [More]
Sep
12
2010

API reference for built-in SSIS data flow components

Developers who want to create and update SSIS packages programmatically often wonder, "Where the heck is the API reference for all the built-in data flow sources, transformations, and destinations?" The short answer is: There isn't any. Why not? Because - at least at design time - an individual data flow component does not have any properties or public methods that are unique. A data flow component has only the properties and methods that it inherits from the base class, PipelineCompone... [More]
Sep
9
2010

SSIS and Microsoft Live Labs Pivot

Rats, I'm too late! For some time, I've been fantasizing (without doing any actual work) about the potential synergies between SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and Microsoft Live Labs Pivot (not to be confused with PowerPivot). I thought that a Pivot Destination would be a fun project - writing out the .CXML collection file would not be rocket science, although manipulating the images programmatically might be, if you didn't already have them. I was wondering about creating document thumbn... [More]
Sep
1
2010

Making SSIS work with the 64-bit Excel (ACE) provider

I've previously blogged about the challenges of the new 64-bit ACE Provider that includes the Excel driver, since the 32-bit and 64-bit versions cannot be installed side-by-side. In this detailed post that includes screen shots, Hrvoje Piasevoli from Croatia describes 2 approaches for working with the 64-bit driver from SSIS: Importing data from 64bit Excel in SSIS Since the author's 2 workarounds are (1) the Import and Export Wizard and (2) OPENROWSET, not all users will find them completely satisfying. A ... [More]
Aug
23
2010

Restarting SSIS packages after failure

Last week while I was on vacation, my Microsoft colleague Steve Howard posted another detailed article on an aspect of SSIS that's frequently misunderstood - restarting SSIS packages after a failure. Steve is often asked to explain and demonstrate this feature during visits to customer sites, so he wrote it up on the TechNet Wiki in great detail with screenshots: Automatic Restart of SSIS packages after Failover or Failure He even has a suggestion for the tricky case where you don't want a Foreach... [More]
Aug
11
2010

Running multiple SSIS Foreach Loops in parallel

The Parallel Loop Task, recently released in beta by Cozyroc Software, "can execute multiple iterations of the standard Foreach Loop Container concurrently. In tests, a CPU intensive sequential process when executed in parallel on 4-core machine was executed 3 times faster compared to the sequential." This new task appears in Beta 2 of the Cozyroc package, SSIS+ 1.5. For more information or to try out the Parallel Loop Task... Read the blog post announcing the new task and the new Beta 2 relea... [More]
Aug
11
2010

Running PowerShell tasks from an SSIS task

In an earlier blog post, I noted that there hasn't been much buzz about performing SSIS-related tasks with Windows PowerShell. But what if you want to perform PowerShell tasks with SSIS? A PowerShell Task for SSIS was released recently just for this purpose by /n Software. From their Web site: "The PowerShell SSIS Task is the 'swiss army knife' of SQL Server automation. It can be used to create highly-flexible SQL Server workflow solutions via easily configurable PowerShell scripts. When ... [More]