Archive for August 2008

ssisUnit 1.0 Is Available

The 1.0 bits for ssisUnit are now on CodePlex. The Release page for it includes versions for SQL Server 2005 and 2008.

The biggest feature in this release is a GUI for creating the unit tests. The test files are still XML, but the GUI abstracts away a lot of the detail involved in creating a test. A couple of things to be aware of with the GUI, however:

  • It does not check to see if your test suite has been saved before closing. So remember, "Save Early, Save Often" :)
  • It’s possible (even likely) that you will see some errors while using the GUI. Being the most recently developed part of ssisUnit, it’s had the least testing. So if you see an error, please open an issue on CodePlex.

If you are reading this, and wondering why anyone would want to unit test an SSIS package, please check out the TechEd Online presentation I posted about recently, Testing the SQL Database. You might also consider attending the Unit Testing an SSIS Package session at the SSWUG BI Virtual Conference. I’ll be covering the basics of unit testing SSIS packages, and an overview of using ssisUnit to automate the process.

If you are reading this, and wondering why unit test at all, I highly encourage you to check out Test Driven Development, By Kent Beck. Not a traditional read for database developers, but it will give you a completely different take on the importance and benefits of unit testing.

Configuration Approaches In SSIS

A number of the SSIS MVPs were asked to contribute a white paper to MSDN a few months ago, and those articles were published recently. You’ll notice a common thread in most of the topics:

They are all great articles, and well worth reading.

Judging by the volume of questions related to configurations on the MSDN Forums, they are one of the more confusing features of SSIS. While there is some overlap in the articles on configurations, there’s valuable information that is unique to each, and will help give you a more rounded view of how to use them. As there are a lot of options and tradeoffs with configurations, it’s no surprise that everyone uses them slightly differently.

I hope the articles are valuable. Please leave comments if you have an approach to configurations that works well for you.

Testing the SQL Database at TechED

While at TechEd this summer, I participated in a panel discussion on testing the database and related technologies. The panel also included Gert Drapers and Jamie Laflen of the Visual Studio Team System – Database Edition team, David Reed (who manages the SQL Server community samples on CodePlex), and Adam Machanic as the moderator. The discussion covered some of the pros and cons of testing data, and some of the common issues encountered. It was also a chance to talk about testing related areas (like SSIS packages), of which I am a big fan. If you are interested in seeing it, it was just put online.

If you are interested in unit testing SSIS packages, keep an eye on I should have a new release going up soon, which adds some much needed features, and a much more extensible framework for adding new functionality.