Archive for November 2009

Presenting At SSIG in Greenville, SC

I’ll be doing a presentation on Analysis Services at the SQL Server Innovators Guild in Greenville, SC on Tuesday, Dec. 1st. I’ll be delivering an introduction to SSAS, with lots of demos. If you are interested in attending, please register here. It’s a presentation that I’ve done a few times now, but because it’s mostly demo, something new and interesting always comes up.


Introduction to Analysis Services 2008

This session is intended to introduce database developers to Analysis Services 2008, with a focus on being able to quickly construct usable OLAP cubes. This presentation will be light on slides, and heavy on demonstrating how to perform the steps to create the cubes. During this session, we will cover the creation of a new cube from an existing database step by step. We will also highlight the reasons for using Analysis Services, and applicable scenarios for using it.

SSIS 101: Viewing Variable Values at Runtime

One of the common problems that beginners have with SSIS is debugging errors involving variables. One example of this occurs when a package uses a Foreach Loop container. These are often used to set a variable value differently for each iteration of a loop. If something fails during the loop, you might want to check the value of the variable in order to determine what went wrong.

Fortunately, this is pretty easy to accomplish in SSIS. You can see the value of any package variable in BIDS when you debug the package by following the steps below:

  1. First, set a breakpoint on a task where you’d like to check the current variable values. You can set a breakpoint by right-clicking on the task and choosing Edit Breakpoints.image
  2. Choose OnPreExecute to see values before the task executes and OnPostExecute to see them after execution. Click OK after enabling the breakpoint.
  3. Run the package in debug mode (press F5) in Visual Studio. The package will run until the breakpoint is hit.
  4. Once execution stops at the breakpoint, open the Locals window (Ctrl+Alt+V, L or Debug..Windows..Locals)
  5. Expand the Variable node in the Locals window. You can see the current values for all your variables, including system variables, in this window. You may have to scroll down to see your variables in the list

This is a useful technique for troubleshooting packages that use variables, particularly if the variable values are changed during package execution.